Africa’s children deliver talks on transforming the continent

Victoria Kweinorki Quaynor, 19 years from Ghana talked about neglected children

Earlier this week, 10 speakers from eight African countries took the Africa Dialogues stage on World Children’s Day to tell the world about the Africa they want to live in, through a series of short and powerful talks. This event was organised by People Initiative Foundation, in partnership with UNICEF.

Emmanuel Leslie Addae, the Executive Director of People Initiative Foundation, stated that “Africa Dialogues is an African thought- leadership conference that focuses on broad-ranging discussions on governance and human rights, education, youth unemployment, infrastructure, public health, gender and income inequality, Africa’s economies and urban development towards helping our continent attain AGENDA 2063 and SDGs 2030,” he said.

He also stated that, this is the first time children were taking over the Africa Dialogues stage to deliver a talk. We believe that it is about time to give children the chance to share their views about the Africa they want, he added.

One in 12 children worldwide live in countries where their prospects today are worse than those of their parents, according to an analysis conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

According to the analysis, 180 million children live in 37 countries where they are more likely to live in extreme poverty, be out of school, or be killed by violent death than children living in those countries were 20 years ago.

This was revealed during an event to mark World Children’s Day in Accra which marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. With global children’s ‘take-overs’, high-profile events and other activations of children in over 130 countries were held to mark the day.

Director of Date, Research and Policy at UNICEF, Laurence Chandy, said the day is to give children their own platform to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and fulfill their potential. According to him, many children are instead seeing opportunities narrow and their prospects diminish.

“While the last generation has seen vast, unprecedented gains in living standards for most of the world’s children, the fact that a forgotten minority of children have been excluded from this – through no fault of their own or those of their families – is a travesty,” he said.

“It is the hope of every parent, everywhere, to provide greater opportunities for their children than they themselves enjoyed when they were young. This World Children’s Day, we have to take stock of how many children are instead seeing opportunities narrow and their prospects diminish,” added Mr. Chandy.

Fatoumatta Camara 18, from The Gambia, talked about female genital mutilation
Elie Yedou 18 years from Cote d’Ivoire also spoke about a peaceful and hunger-free Africa
Diallo Hamado Moussa 18, from Burkina Faso, talked about the importance of education
Christiana Ayeni Oluwapelumi from Nigeria sung We Are The World
Children sing at the ceremony

The speakers were Hamado Moussa Diallo, Fatoumatta A. Camara, Élie Yedou, Victoria Kweinorki Quaynor, Natasha Adu, Hadja Idrissa Bah, Fatima Aliyu Gebi, Rebecca Evelyn Deborah Sankoh and Abra Rosaline Tsekpuia and ranged from 12 – 19 years- old.

They come from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo but delivered inspirational talks at the Africa Dialogues event on issues affecting children and youth on the continent. They shared their vision of what they want Africa’s future to be.

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