As esports is gaining popularity in Africa, many young people are developing an interest in playing and competing in video games. As such, esports can play a role in promoting safer internet use among African youth on Safer Internet Day and beyond.
Safer Internet Day is an annual event held on the second day of the second week of February, with the aim of promoting safer and more responsible use of online technologies, especially among young people. This event is celebrated in over 170 countries around the world.
Esports as a tool, can help to educate young people about the dangers of cyberbullying, online harassment, and other negative behaviours online. Through esports competitions, young people can learn to respect their fellow gamers, communicate effectively, and handle conflicts in a constructive manner.
It helps promote positive online behaviors, such as teamwork, collaboration, and communication. These skills are essential not only for esports competitions but also for success in many other areas of life, including education and the workplace.
Esports can also provide a safe and controlled environment for young people to interact with others online. By participating in organised competitions, young people can avoid the risks associated with unmoderated online spaces, such as exposure to inappropriate content or contact with strangers who may have malicious intent.
While we push for a safer internet, the role of esports cannot be ignored. It can be a valuable tool for promoting safer internet use in Africa, particularly among young people. Through esports competitions, young people can learn important skills and behaviours that will help them to stay safe and responsible online, even beyond Safer Internet Day.