Create enabling environment for us to develop – African youth

Accra, Africa’s youth have called on governments to create the enabling environment where they could get quality education and contribute to development.

They also urged the governments to provide the framework to improve on maternal and newborn care for women.

The youth said this during the commemoration of the World Children’s Day, organised by the People Initiative Foundation, in collaboration with UNICEF in Accra.

The United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20, each year, to promote togetherness and awareness among children worldwide and improve on their welfare.

Ten youths from eight African countries took to the stage on the Day, to tell the world about the Africa they want to live in.

The 10 girls and boys, aged 12 to 19 years, from Ghana, Burkina Faso, CAte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo spoke on Child Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation in relation to Governance and Human Rights, Peaceful and Hunger-free Africa, Neglected Children, and Sanitation in Africa.

Ms Victoria Kweinorki Quaynor, a 19-year old student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, said the problems that were facing the Continent affected children first, and they felt the impact before their adult counterparts did.

She called on government to take action against parents who neglected their children because it had negative consequences on children, the family, community, school and the country at large.

She said the issue of neglected child had gotten less attention in most African countries and it was a silent killer, which was hurting a lot of children and needed to be addressed.

Madam Anne Isabelle Leclercq Balde, the Communication Specialist for West and Central Africa Office, UNICEF, said one of the basic rights of children was to have voice on issues affecting them and that was what the event was all about.

She said there were various issues affecting children on the continent and it was therefore important, governments, parents and stakeholders listened to them and help address them.

She expressed the hope that the messages expressed by the children would be addressed to create the environment where children could be inspired to grow and develop to contribute to the economy.

Mr Daniel Antwi, the Co-founder of Peoples Initiative Foundation, said the event was a platform where children could speak on issues that affected them for redress.

He said UNICEF was a major stakeholder in the development of the child and the Foundation was excited to collaborate with them to give voices to children to share their visions.

He said the event would be held annually to continue to give the children the voice to speak on issues that affected them and drum home their concerns.

Mrs Ethel Marfo, the Founding Director of Shappers Africa, told the Ghana News Agency that Africa’s total liberation laid in quality education and equality for all, adding that throughout the presentation it was evident how disadvantaged girls were across the Continent.

She said: We need to channel all resources in providing quality and affordable education for every boy or girl on the continent.

Source: Ghana News Agency