October 12, 2021
The Minister of Information and Communications Honorable Mohamed Rahman Swaray played host to a number of girls through Plan International at his Youyi Building office on Monday the 11th October 2021.
As part of their activities to commemorate the day of the Girl Child in Sierra Leone, Plan International with a number of Girl Champions visited the Ministry of Information and Communications to take over the office for some hours as a show of girl’s empowerment.
The International Day of Girl Child which is celebrated globally on the 11th October every year, could be described as the brainchild of the World Conference on Women which was hosted in Beijing, China in 1995 where it was decided that, such a day be dedicated to the growth of girls around the world. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was unanimously adopted by all countries. This year’s global theme is “Digital Generation, Our Generation.”
At national level, the theme for this year is, “Say no to Cyber Bullying”. The girls converged at the Ministry of Information and Communications to discuss mainly the Cyber Security and Crime Act and its safeguards for girls.
Minister Swaray and his team including the Permanent Secretary Mr. Kwame Yankson and the Director of Communications Mr. Mumini Jalloh welcomed the girls and the Plan International officials to the Ministry. The Minister and his team handed over their offices to the girls for complete “TAKE OVER” to run the affairs of the Ministry for some hours. The girls were oriented in the different offices and shown the normal workload of those offices.
Ms. Lois L. Josiah, one of the Girl Champions who served as Minister of Information and Communications was so elated and thanked the Minister for giving them the platform.
The girls were curious to know more about the Cyber Security and Crime Act especially the component that deals with Cyber Bullying. Some of the girls disclosed that they were victims of Cyber Bullying so they wanted to know what the Act says about protecting the girl child from online bullying.
The Minister of Information and Communications took them through the Act and highlighted several safeguards for girls. “Your privacy is well protected in this Act. Nobody shares your content without your consent; if that happens to be the case, you will have the chance for redress. The government of President Dr. Julius Maada Bio notes with serious concern the threat posed by the cyber space as 25% of the population are on one social media platform or the other. So we take your concerns very seriously, that is why the Cyber Security and Crime Act is here to protect all of us from cyber criminality,” the Minister explained.
Through a PowerPoint presentation to the girls, the significance of the internet was explained to them, and also the dangers of social media and how to deal with them were thoroughly massaged.
The girls expressed gratitude to the Minister and team for the great job they are doing in promoting the welfare of the Girl Child on the cyber space.
Before handing over the office of the Information Minister to the substantive Minister, Ms. Lois Josiah asked the Minister and his team to sign a petition that is calling on government to work towards promoting the learning and exposure of girls to digital literacy.