It is estimated 40% of Africa’s population is below the age of 18 years. Since the enactment of the African Chater on the welfare and the rights of a child, many African government have made efforts to improve the welfare of the child. Some of the progress is that in most African countries is that significant progress has been made in three respects: developing harmonized policies and laws; creating awareness and recognition of children’s rights; and establishing structures and coordinating mechanisms for overseeing national policies, and particularly programmes for vulnerable groups of children (ACPF 2012a; 2012b; Guy 2012; un 2002).
However despite of all this children in Africa continue to experience different challenges. The major forms of violence include 40% of girls in Africa are married below the age of 18 years, , 28% of girls and women have been cut, 30% of children have experience some of physical abuse, 34 million children are out of school, high level of child poverty and children in 7 African nations are experiencing conflict.
The organization of African Union declared 16th June as the day of the African Child (DAC) in commemoration of the Soweto uprising where children took a stand for their rights in 1978. The day over the years has been used to make visible different issues facing African children.
The 2017 theme is based on the Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 goals aim at improving the people, planet and creating prosperity for the next. It is along this aspirations that African Union base the theme Accelerating Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunity.
We at Mtoto News believe that to accelerate protection there is need for all states in Africa to sign and adopt the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the children. This will ensure that all African Children are protected under the same law.
Protection also entails strengthening community based child protection systems which are the center of children lives. This include providing
- Parenting skills for parents before a child is born,
- Quality maternal and child health care system
- Comprehensive and compulsory Early childhood development services and education
- Life skills training for all children from an early age
- Strengthening the social workforce from the community to ensure a seamless case management system
- Strengthen Psycho Social support and mental health systems from the community level.
- Encourage community led initiatives that tackle negative cultural practices such as FGM and Child Marriage.
- Encouraging the African philosophy of Ubuntu, where it took a village to bring up a child.
In empowering, we believe it entails creating an environment where children can thrive, it include
- Ensuring that parents have gainful employment or business.
- Having innovative ways of Agriculture to ensure sustainable food security.
- Providing relevant and quality education
- Ensuring equity for boys and girls
- Strengthening community led peace initiatives
In ensuring equal opportunities, we believe it entails
Having a borderless continent, which give African children an opportunity to work, do business and get educated in any corner of Africa.