ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 17, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Union Conference Center hosted on 16th January 2013, the Conference of African Leaders on Child Survival held under the theme: “African leadership for child survival: a promise renewed”.
Organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the conference brought together delegates and experts in the area of child protection to discuss ways of sharpening evidence-based country plans and setting measurable benchmarks for child support in Africa. The conference called on African leaders to take action to improve and promote the living conditions of the children in the continent.
Speaking on behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) at the opening ceremony, Dr. Maxwell Mkwezalamba, Commissioner for Economic Affairs at the AUC acknowledged the different challenges faced by the African child. He noted that these challenges could be prevented through the widely disseminated legal and policy instruments developed by the African Union in this regard. These include: the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990), with fourty-six (46) Member States as Parties to the Charter; the State of Africa’s Children Report which covers the priority areas of the Call for Accelerated Action Towards Africa Fit for Children, namely: The African Child Rights Framework; the African report on enhancing the life chances of African children among others.
Dr. Mkwezalamba further underlined that overcoming HIV/AIDS for African children as well as realizing the right to education of African and the right to protection of the African children will go a long way to enhance child survival in the continent.
According to Commissioner Mkwezalamba, the conference on child survival will help to mobilise broad-based social support and accountability for maternal, newborn and child survival in Africa. (See complete speech of the Commissioner on the the African Union website: www.au.int .)