International African Child Day
June 16, 1976 in Soweto, there was a horrible event that took place. A group of young school children were on a protest, advocating for their right to quality education, having had the education system degenerated due to Apartheid. Hundreds of these unarmed young students were killed sporadically while thousands were left injured after the South-African police opened fire at them.
Years later, on June 16, 1991, the African Union decided to commemorate the Day of the African Child every year among its member states. The day aims at raising awareness for the situation of children in African, and on the need for continuing improvement in education. It encourages people’s spirit of abundance to share something special with a child in Africa. Every African Child Day has its annual theme and the theme of 2017 International Day of the African Child is:
“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for Children in Africa: Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunity”
2015 marked the adoption of historic agendas for Africa at both the continental and global levels. At the continental level, African countries have adopted Agenda 2063, the 50 year Transformative Agenda for Africa, and its First Ten Year Implementation Plan. At the global level, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Both frameworks seek to achieve inclusive growth, sustainable development and peace and security for the continent.
At the 2008 Day for the African Child event at Abuja, Former President of Nigeria wife Hajiya Turai Yar’Adua said “it is time to say no to harmful practices such as hawking, child molestation and all forms of abuses on our children.” She cautioned parents about denying their children the opportunity to participate in meaningful activities. Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Saudatu Bugundu said “Children are intelligent, excellent and can effectively contribute to issues affecting them. Therefore the non-involvement of children in decision-making on matters or issues that borders on their welfare is a big problem in the society”. She stressed that children are intelligent, excellent and can effectively contribute to issues affecting them. Therefore the non-involvement of children in decision-making on matters or issues that borders on their welfare is a big problem in the society.
Every African child deserves the right to be protected, empowered with quality education to compete internationally and given equal opportunity with no gender, ethnic, religious or money status discrimination.
Happy International Day of The African Child 2017