Call for Accelerated Action on the Implementation of the Plan of Action Towards Africa Fit for Children
In 2007 in Cairo, the Ministers of African Union member states responsible for promoting and safeguarding the rights and welfare of children undertook a review of the “Call for Accelerated Action on the Implementation of the Plan of Action towards Africa Fit for Children.” They focused on ten priorities:
• devising an overall framework;
• enhancing life chances;
• overcoming HIV/AIDS;
• realising the right to education and protection;
• encouraging the participation of youth and children;
• spurring action at all levels;
• fostering international partnership;
• executing follow-up actions, monitoring, and a call to action.
In the review, the ministers reaffirmed their commitments made in making Africa “fit for children” as detailed in all African Union declarations relevant to children. . Further to this, reaffirmations were made on all other relevant declarations, decisions, recommendations, resolutions and policy documents such as UN Millennium Declaration and the MDGs on improving the livelihood and well-being of Africa’s children.
Concerns were raised on the current state of socioeconomic, cultural, political and natural issues that affect children in Africa. The vulnerability of the female children and children with disabilities were highlighted as these groups require special attention. Although significant achievements have been realised in the protection of children and the issues relevant to them, mechanisms must be strengthened to ensure consistency in the next five years.
Overcoming HIV/AIDS, realizing the right to education and protection, and encouraging the participation of children and youth, building legislative, policy, and institutional frameworks, and mobilizing and leveraging resources for Africa Fit for Children are all vital for the next phase of implementing the Call. These goals can be attained through the Call for Accelerated Action. The monitoring and evaluation framework is key to achieving these goals, especially since The Declaration and the Plan of Action on Africa Fit for Children 2001 failed from lack of such measures. All the stakeholders have a duty to implement this framework.