Day of the African child 2018: Leave no child behind for Africa’s development.

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Every year we celebrate this day and remember the children of the Soweto. The student uprising was for the basic right to education. Today although great progress progress has been made development statistics are shockingly poor and there’s still a lot to be done. Despite the millennium development goals and sustainable development goals there still many challenges that are yet to be overcome.

Child poverty is still a problem. Families go hungry and in Africa we still have very highinfant mortality rates. We have still not achieved free primary education for all children. In addition to that we to  contend with child marriages, more specifically child brides. Culture and tradition allow us to make conscious decisions to leave some children behind. Child marriage shortens education and reduces the economic potential of girls. It also leads to high teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality. In some countries we choose to leave them behind as pregnant teenagers aren’t allowed back into regular schools reducing their academic and ultimately economic empowerment.

It doesn’t end there. Child labour, because of poverty many children are made to contribute to the family’s earnings. 71% of agricultural workers are children, making about 72 million Child workers in agriculture. Children are on farms when they should be in school. and it’s not just agriculture, child labour also exists in manufacturing as well as mining and other commercial industries.There are many forms of child abuse so, we end up to with poor health and high  infant mortality rates. This needs to stop. Across Africa we need new legislation and commitment to getting free  primary education. We need stringent Child protection policies and clamp down on child labour and child brides with harsh penalties.

Let’s allow children to be children and most of all let’s move forward with all of them and leave no child behind.

©Khadijatu Mansaray

Author: Khadijatu Mansaray

Entrepreneur, Publisher, Activist.Born and raised in Sierra Leone.Formerly an accountant is passionate about Africa, Literature and social justice.

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