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Child-Focused Institutions & Strengthening Policies: Experts on How to Help African Kids

© AP Photo / Sam MednickNiamey
Niamey - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 16.06.2024
On June 16, the International Day of the African Child is celebrated. On this occasion, Sputnik Africa sat down with child rights activists from Nigeria and Zimbabwe to talk about African children's problems and ways to solve them.
We need governments in different countries to begin to set up child-focused institutions and agencies that will be focused on addressing their vulnerabilities, Emediong Akpabio, CEO and founder of Child Solidarity Group, told Sputnik Africa.
The Child Solidarity Group is an organization focused on advancing the social and economic rights of children in Africa. Akpabio also works as the Africa Regional Coordinator for the Fair Internship Initiative (FII) in Geneva to reform UN internships.
Among the issues facing African children, Akpabio mentioned access to health services, nutrition, displacement, migration, education, and some digital issues related to internet access, data protection, and online abuse.
Speaking about what his organization does to help these kids, he outlined several focal areas of their work, including policy action, community interventions, harmful practices, and mental health.

"We have a program that deals with journalists. It's called the RAI Program for Journalists. The RAI Program for Journalists is a program that we have set the capacity and response of journalists in the country to be able to pull issues of violence against children and women," he added.

Irene Wanzila, 10, works breaking rocks with a hammer along with her younger brother, older sister and mother, who says she was left without a choice after she lost her cleaning job at a private school when coronavirus pandemic restrictions were imposed, at Kayole quarry in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 12.06.2024
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Another of Sputnik Africa's interlocutors, Clemence Tauya Nhliziyo, a Zimbabwean education policy expert and child rights specialist, noted that in order to help children, it is necessary to focus on strengthening policies that protect their rights.

"And also, for me, what is key is actually to use the resources that are there in Africa. You know, Africa is endowed with the resources that can actually be channeled towards protecting the rights of children," he added.

Nhliziyo also noted that some issues affecting the younger generation could be solved with the use of digital technologies.
Explaining why he is advocating for the rights of African children, the expert said that "the future of Africa belongs to the children" and Africa's youth is "the largest in terms of the demographics."