The Monitor – eBotho Digital Citizens Campaign To Be Launched

InFuture Foundation, a non-profit organisation that promotes social change is launching a public education campaign that seeks to sensitise society about the importance of digital citizenship, a term used to describe safe and responsible use of the internet.

Under the name eBotho Digital Citizens, the campaign could not have come at a more suitable time.

Like the rest of the world, the Botswana society is experiencing a growing trend in cyber related ills such as misinformation, fake news, cyber bullying, forgery and privacy violations, amongst others.

InFuture Foundation was founded in 2016 in Gaborone with the view to promote societal mindset change through public education campaigns as a means to tackling social challenges.

The Foundation’s Programmes Director, David Moepeng says the harmful habits that are emerging on the use of internet and digital technology as a whole, are not reflective of the spirit of Botho that Batswana are known for and have upheld for many generations.

“Batswana are a nation known to be accommodative, friendly and respectful towards one another but the opposite is reflected in the way some Batswana are utilising technology,” said Moepeng.

If left undeterred, Moepeng cautioned cyber abuse has the potential to prevent society from realising the full benefits of digital technology.

“We have seen the country making a tremendous effort in ensuring access to digital technology for the people, and this is benefiting the economy and society in general in many ways. Abuse of technology therefore only serves to reverse or erode the very benefits of making society a part of the digital world,” added Moepeng.

He further advised that if used effectively and creatively, technology has the potential to provide numerous opportunities for growth and empowerment, whether economically, socially or otherwise.

“Nations and individuals around the world are constantly innovating and finding new ways of tackling social challenges or empowering themselves through the use of the internet; we need to see more of that happening in Botswana. It is for this reason that we, as InFuture Foundation, have decided to promote mindset change in the way people interact with technology and encourage a more safe, responsible and productive approach,” said Moepeng.

InFuture Foundation plans to achieve this through regular dissemination of information and placement of awareness messages in the media for improved digital literacy in the country.

The information will cover issues such as cyber safety and security, internet technology developments as well as tips on creative and productive ways one can use the internet.

The eBotho Digital Citizens Campaign will be launched on February 11, 2020 to coincide with Safer Internet Day Commemorations.  Awareness messages will be placed on various media platforms such as radio, television, newspapers and social media.