The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) warned policymakers around the continent to think long and hard about the world’s fastest and youngest growing population and come up with the needed investment for an exceptional and transformative agenda to help children and youth overcome challenges of poverty and inequality.
The report which was launched at Hilton Hotel this week stated that “Africa is sitting on a demographic time bomb and without a massive long-term investment on nutrition, healthcare, education and employment, the growing child and youth population could become a huge burden, exacerbating poverty, inequality, unemployment and instability and creating a serious human development crises.”
Titled – The African Reporter on Child Wellbeing: Progress in the Child-Friendliness of African Governments – the report was launched in the presence of government officials, diplomats and renowned Mozambican child advocate, Graca Machel, the Chairperson of the groups International Board of Trustees, which was founded in 2003.
The finding is based on the Child-Friendliness Index (CFI) and looked at the situations in 52 African nations. Nations such as Algeria, Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho were observed as the most child friendly African society while South Sudan, Chad, Zambia, Liberia and Eritrea are placed at the bottom of the rankings.
“Large number of African children and young people suffer from under nutrition and lack of educational opportunities,” reflected Graca Machel. “African girls are yet to be given equal treatment either in law or before the law. More than half of all girls have no access to secondary school education.”
According to the group, the population of Africa is expected to reach 750 million by 2030 and reach 1 billion by 2050.
While the report recognized that the African society is moving towards a child friendly society, Graca said that “progress is still far too slow and patchy and the future more disconcerting”.