The Day of the African Child, how do we prevent the ‘modern bullets’ being fired at the African child, day and night?
From killing, maiming, torturing, mental health, discrimination, etc, how can these modern bullets be ceased? The bullets are now being fired everywhere. Soweto has expanded and covered virtually the entire African continent and beyond!
We have a myriad of challenges depriving children of their rights - from child trafficking, child labour, neglect, child abuse and defilement, poor learning conditions, to confinement of children in IDPs and refugee camps with basic facilities that cannot support the well-being of children.
There are child marriages, defilement, and various forms of child abuses still being tolerated across Africa!
Furthermore, there is a threat of high infant mortality rates due to underfunding and inadequate healthcare system. These are modern bullets being fired at our children.
My heart bleeds whenever we mark the Day of the African Child because we should be doing more than simply celebrating. African leaders in the 50 plus states on the continent, the African Union, politicians holding different positions, technocrats - all must do more than just making political rhetorics.
They ought to think about that African child with special needs due to various forms of disabilities affecting children and avail resources to meet those needs.
A lot more can be done. We need to tackle the problem of African children in a holistic manner, looking at the root causes of the problems they face. African leaders should deal with institutional systems, policies and political problems that are causing a lot of suffering to the African child.
Leaders should tackle the challenge of chronic corruption that has taken away the resources that could have been used to improve the lives of the African child. This includes building better schools and providing quality learning environment for the African child. The African child has to endure poor learning conditions yet children of politicians go to affluent learning institutions, including overseas.
When these children do not get equal opportunities for education at early age, they get disadvantaged for life and will never be able to compete favourably with their counterparts who go to better schools.
Governments across Africa must honour the rights of children to a quality and dignified education by improving funding for public schools.
Seraphine Olanya Ramto,