Roundup: Education takes center stage at annual Day of African Child commemorative event

  • World
  • Saturday, 15 Jun 2024

ADDIS ABABA, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Experts and decision-makers attending a special event ahead of the annual Day of the African Child has underscored the crucial imperative of ensuring the right to education for children in Africa.

The Day of the African Child is commemorated annually on June 16, as a significant occasion to reaffirm the continent's collective commitment to the well-being and educational rights of children across Africa.

On Friday, a special event was held at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to mark this year's edition of the annual commemorative event under the theme "Education for All Children in Africa: The Time is Now."

Addressing the commemorative event, Mohamed Belhocine, the AU commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, stressed that the theme underscores the critical role of education financing in ensuring that every child in Africa has access to inclusive, accessible, and relevant learning opportunities.

This year's edition of the day was celebrated in alignment with the AU theme of the year 2024: "Educate an African fit for the 21st century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa."

"Commemorating the Day of the African Child in the year of education as the AU theme is a testament to our unwavering commitment to unlocking the potential of Africa's most valuable resource, our children," Belhocine said.

The AU commissioner also called for concerted efforts in driving tangible progress towards inclusive and equitable education in Africa.

As part of the commemorative event, a joint AU-UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) report was launched focusing on education financing.

The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the current state of education financing in Africa and outlines practical strategies to increase investment, improve resource allocation, and ensure equitable access to quality education for all children, especially the most marginalized and vulnerable.

Noting that education is a fundamental human right and a key driver of social and economic development, the report stressed that "Too many children in Africa continue to face barriers in accessing inclusive and quality learning."

The report warned that the learning crisis on the continent will become a huge development challenge if investments in education are not enhanced. It says expanding funding for education, both domestically and from external sources, is a key pathway to addressing this challenge.

The International Day of the African Child, also known as the Day of the African Child, has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991.

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