The Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991, so as to raise awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children. This day has been celebrated to commemorate those killed during the Soweto Uprising in South Africa on June 16, 1976, where ten thousand black schoolchildren marched protesting the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language. This years’ theme for the Day of the African Child 2021 is “30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children”.
The well-being of children in Africa is under siege since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The region is now suffering from economic recession, pushing about 50 million people into extreme poverty, a majority of who are children. Although some schools can endeavour to provide online classes, this is unavailable to the majority of children and young people in Africa. Since school closures, many families in Africa have found themselves unable to help their children keep track of their education. There is a need for African Governments to prioritize education for every child in Africa and seek ways to reach the rural and semi-urban areas without access to television, radio or the internet.
As we celebrate this day, let us also ensure we put structures to safeguard and protect Children across Africa by ensuring the safety of children is priceless. Chazon Africa strongly recognizes the importance of amplifying children’s voices for the successful implementation of the Africa Children’s Charter.