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Invest more on education- official

19 Nov 2023

The SADC Subregional countries should step up their investments in children and youth by transforming education systems and empowering women and girls to fully participate in the demographic transition, says UNICEF-Africa Regional Director Ms Etleba Kadilli. 

Speaking at the United Nations Sub-regional Children Day commemoration welcome reception in Walvis Bay on November 17, Ms Kadilli emphasised the potential of children and young people to propel the region to great heights, highlighting the need to invest more resources into preparing them for the future.

The regional commemorations brought together children and youth from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Zambia, providing a platform to listen to their desires and recognize the value of their experiences, views, and concerns,     Ms Kadilli stated. 

Prioritising education, protection, health, and well-being of children should be seen as the best and most robust investment to fulfill the promises of Agenda 2030 in terms of providing for children, adolescents, and youth and upholding their fundamental rights.

“We need to recognise that investing in children and youth is critical to achieving inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development for present and future generations,” she said. 

In that regard, she emphasised the importance of accelerating girls’ access to gender-transformative education and making it a central focus of government policies and curriculums. 

“This World Children’s Day, we must recognise that investing in girls’ education is key to building back equality,” she added.

The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa, Dr  Yvonne Chaka Chaka-Mhinga, called on representatives of the private sector to invest in the protection, empowerment, and education of children, particularly by funding centers that support disabled children. 

She emphasised the importance of listening to and including children with disabilities in decision-making processes to ensure they have the same opportunities as any other child.

 To accelerate productivity and incomes, Chaka Chaka-Mhinga urged governments to quickly implement effective strategies for learning recovery, with increased investments in education, skills, and job creation. “Africa is young, vibrant, and full of potential for rapid economic growth. All it requires is increased and sustainable investment in young human capital,” she explained.

 Chaka Chaka-Mhinga stressed that funding must be used effectively and efficiently, measured by stronger services and a healthier, more skilled population that could create and take on jobs of today and the future. “As leaders, we have a window of opportunity to invest in Africa’s young people through better health, nutrition, and education, and by working closely with the continent’s growing private sector,” she said.

  She also emphasised the importance of rallying more resources and making timely investments to strengthen education and health systems, which would help improve services, increase opportunities, and enhance productivity  key factors. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Mosinyi

Location : Walvis Bay

Event : Children Day commemoration

Date : 19 Nov 2023