The Day of the African Child 2018 will be commemorated on the theme “Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development.”
This year’s theme builds on the momentum created by the 2017 theme “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for Children in Africa: Accelerating Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunity.” It does so by emphasising the need to mainstream children’s rights in all Sustainable Development Goals implemented by Member States. While the 2017 Day of the African Child theme focused on locating Africa’s children generally within the Sustaiable developmetn Goals, the 2018 theme highlights the need to ensure that ‘No Child is Left Behind’ by specifically targeting those who are not benefitting from Africa’s growth and development. Thus, the overarching principle is inclusive development for children, that is, whenever undertaking to develop programs and policies for implementing the Sustainable Developement Goals, children should be at the centre-stage and stakeholders should ‘ensure that no child is left behind’ in the drive towards sustainable economic development.
This is particularly important in the African context where children form the majority of Africa’s population. It is therefore significant for stakeholders to focus on children while implementing various development programs in Africa so as to free them from all forms of poverty ranging from hunger, poor education, violence and discrimination.
Below are facts about African children relating to the SDGs particularly regarding poverty, health, education, child labor and nutrition.
Facts about Children in Africa
- One in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa do not live to their fifth birthday
- 30 million children in Africa have to work instead of going to school
- In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 247 million children are deprived of their basic rights
- 15 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa grow without their parents
- Malaria kills 3,000 African children per day.
- The Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region has the highest proportion of children involved in child labour in the world
- 30 million children in sub-Saharan Africa are underweight—5.5 million more than 20 years ago.