By TECHNOLOGY TIMES Reporter
Lagos. July 22, 2013: Patience Jonathan, the First Lady of Nigeria has been formally vested as ITU Child Online Protection Champion at a ceremony held today in Geneva, Switzerland, the headquarters of the UN specialised agency coordinating the global telecoms industry.
ITU had earlier announced the appointment of the First Lady when she received her letter of appointment on 10 May 2013 from Brahima Sanou, the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, during their meeting to discuss cyberthreats and cybersecurity in the African region.
ITU launched the Child Online Protection (COP) initiative in 2008 as part of the overall thrust to strengthen cybersecurity. It brings together partners from various sectors to ensure a safe and secure online experience for children around the world, the body said.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Dame Patience Jonathan highlighted the importance of intervening in the “worrisome challenge of cyberspace insecurity, especially with regards to our highly vulnerable children”.
Noting that children and youth are among the top users of cyberspace and that the future of humanity depends on them, Dame Patience Jonathan said, “I pledge to join hands with ITU to secure the children of the world from the dangers of cybercrime.”
“Dame Patience Jonathan has demonstrated deep interest in the activities of children and young people,” Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General said, speaking at the inaugural ceremony.
“Under her guidance, the Government of Nigeria is now taking extensive steps to ensure a safer online environment for children. ITU is looking forward to collaborating even more closely with Nigeria to build a better future for our children.”
Patience Jonathan has founded many philanthropic and empowerment projects for children and women. These include programmes to improve the status and earning capacity of Nigerian youth and women.
Earlier, the Eugene Juwah, the Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ITU to set up a Regional Cybersecurity Centre in Nigeria.
This Regional Centre will facilitate collaboration on combatting cyber threats at the regional and national levels—with an emphasis on activities related to protecting children online.
Anuj Singh, Director of the Global Response Centre of IMPACT, made a presentation on the COP-X platform designed to share information and resources on Child Online Protection worldwide. IMPACT – the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats – is the operational home of ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA).
The high-level delegation of Nigeria included Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology; Zainab Maina, Minister of Women Affairs and Inuwa Abdulkadir, Minister of Youth Affairs as well as Senators Helen Esuene and Esther Nenadi Usman; and Members of the Nigerian House of Representatives Stella Dorgu and Peace Nnaji.