The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) is working with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to create a national strategy for protecting children online in Malawi. This effort is mandated by the Electronic Transactions and Cybersecurity Act of 2016. MACRA recently held consultation meetings to gather input from stakeholders, including children and young people, to understand their perspectives and needs.
During the consultation meetings, the participants engaged in discussions that centered around several key topics. These included establishing the legal framework for the Child Online Protection strategy, formulating a mission, vision, and goals for the strategy. Additionally, the meetings stressed on the importance of raising awareness about online safety among policymakers, industry stakeholders, parents, educators, and children themselves. These discussions were crucial in shaping the development of the Child Online Protection strategy in Malawi.
Christopher Banda, the head of Malawi CERT, emphasized that child online protection is a shared responsibility. Policymakers, parents, guardians, educators, and the government all have a role to play in keeping children and young people safe online. Children are engaging in online activities at younger ages and spending more time online for education, communication, entertainment, and social purposes. The online world has become an important part of their lives, and protecting them from potential risks and dangers is crucial. With this collaborative approach, MACRA aims to develop a comprehensive Child Online Protection strategy in Malawi to safeguard the well-being of children and young people in the digital world.