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The African Report on Child Wellbeing says Africa has become a better place for children compared to five years ago. It also underlines improving child wellbeing does not necessarily depend on the wealth of the country.
“Looking back at the performance of African governments over the past five years, there are positive signs that Africa has started its long journey towards being a continent fit for children”, said Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique and Chairperson of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) Board of Trustees at a press conference held on Monday November 18that the Sheraton Addis hotel.
He also stated that more and more governments are allocating a larger share of their budgets to sectors that have a direct impact on children including health and education, and most governments are taking steps to enhance the legal protection of children from abuse and exploitation.
According to the report, the most notable recent achievementis the increased survival rate of Africa’schildren, and a huge reduction in infant mortality in countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda, Niger, Liberia and others. Some of the lowest performing countries in this regard include Chad, Eritrea and Zimbabwe.
“The recent economic growth witnessed in the region must translate into concrete results in terms of reducing inequality and expanding the fiscal space to invest in our children,” Théophane Nikyèma, Executive Director of The African Child Policy Forum said.
Ethiopia has achieved a significant decline in child mortality going from 109 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008 to 77 in 2011. The report also praises the achievement regarding school enrollment. There has been a 100 percent increase in girls’ net enrollment in Ethiopia between 2000 and 2012.
According to the report, improving accountability from the perspective of improving child survival and children’s wellbeing outcomes requires some priority action such as governments’ need to scale up efforts to reduce child mortality, addressing the high prevalence of malnutrition, particularly stunting, building on significant achievements and progress in enrollment rates in primary education and achieving universal access to all social services, particularly in education, protection and health.