By Maxim Murungweni, 25 November to 1 December 2018, pg 22
The 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is upon us, and as we scale up our collective advocacy efforts, l believe it is also the right time for self introspection for all stakeholders involved in the war against child abuse. It is time for us to critically reflect and have open discussions that will help us examine our intervention strategies and help us answer this difficult question: Are we winning or losing the war against child abuse in Africa? The 2016 edition on the African Report on Child Well being, subtitled, Getting it Right: Bridging the gap between policy and practice, which focused on effective implementation essential to advancement of child rights, highlighted the following findings; (a) implementation of children’s rights is not getting the necessary attention in national development planning and resource allocation; (b) inadequacy in implementation across countries leading to huge numbers of children dying needlessly; (c) absence of effective birth registration systems and child protection mechanisms in large parts of Africa, just to mention a few. The report also highlights inadequate protection of children against abuse, maltreatment and exploitation is generally very weak in most countries of Africa. The 2018 Africa Report on Child Well being warns us that ” Africa is sitting on a demographic time bomb, By 2050 the continent could be home to a billion angry, underfed, under-educated and under-employed children and young people, unless African governments commit to massive long-term investment in nutrition, health and quality education. Specifically African Governments must invest in: Improved access to nutritious food by adopting integrated strategies to combat child under-nutrition by enhancing children’s access to nutritious food, especially in their early years ; enhance the quality of education at all levels with particular emphasis on early childhood education and learning ; prioritize public investment in children where children should be at the heart of the budget budget ; no child should be left behind ; focusing on human development for youth in particular ; embed respect for the human dignity of the child in protection principles and policies.