First Lady, Aisha Buhari has said there is urgent need to work for the voices of African children to be heard.
Speaking at the celebration of the Day of African Child 2021 in Abuja, the First Lady who was represented at the event marking the day by Special Assistant to the President on African First Ladies Peace Mission, Mairo Al-Makura said: “It is indeed sad to note from research conducted by some organisations that Africa has the largest number of child labours; which states that 72.1 million African children are estimated to be in child labour and 31.5 million in perilous work.”
She lamented that in in most African countries, the voices of children have not been heard, insisting that certain cultures and norms inhibit this.
She said because of the complexities of their current and past realities, children in the continent at a disadvantage, making it impossible for voices to be heard.
She said: “We are also aware that every disaster or conflict comes with terrible consequences for children. Besides protecting children from harm whenever we can, it is equally important to help them cope with the shattering effects of violence. This involves setting up child friendly spaces and emergency education initiatives to restore children’s sense of stability and normalcy.”
The First Lady said it is disheartening that the African child is portrayed as one whose future is bleak.
She said. “My concern presently is the right of a child to healthy living, right to care, right to go to school without fear of the unknown. I appreciate the effort of government to secure schools to avoid abductions of children, but I want to appeal to all stakeholders nat to leave this aspect to government alone. To ensure that the African Charter for children works, it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to play their role effectively. We must work together to make Africa great!”
She however said the future is bright for the African Child.