To honors those children who participated in the Soweto Uprising on June 16, 1976, The Day of the African Child has been celebrated on that day every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the OAU (Organisation of African Unity now African Union – AU) . The day raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children. Going by the objective of the day, it is only right that the issue of child, especially girl child, education is given a look in at commemorations of the International Day of the African Child.
The Kaduna State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed Baba, toeing this path, reiterated the commitment of Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Malam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufa’i to improving enrolment and completion of education up to the secondary school level especially for the girl child. Speaking at the commemoration event of the International Day of the African Child, Hajiya Hafsat said “Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i has taken the lead in this line with introduction of free and compulsory basic education for our children, the school feeding and uniform provision program in our schools. This is in addition to the introduction and promulgation of child friendly policies of the government directly and indirectly.”
The Commissioner had earlier painted a gory picture of the situation of the African Child in comparison to their peers from around the world “The African Child today can never measure up with his/her peers in other climes. They are the most educationally retrogressed lot, abused by the society at the slightest instance, neglected to self-sustenance in their minor times and invariably broken in soul and spirit. Story of the African Child today is gory, filled with deliberate abandonment which can best be described as arrested development. A lot of us parents, leaders and institution drivers have repeatedly failed on the overall in our prime and divinely ordained responsibility of sane child upbringing.”
This year’s theme for the commemoration is “Protection Empowerment and Equal Opportunities for the African Child by 2030”. A paper entitled “Protection Empowerment and Equal Opportunities for the African Child by 2030: The Role of Conditional Cash Transfers” was highlighted by Dr. Hussayn Idris who also made a presentation on “Who is a child?” and the “Rights of Children”.
The Commemoration event which was hosted by the Kaduna State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development held at the Conference Hall of the Kaduna State Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. Mrs. Ladi Bala Bantex was the Special Guest of Honour at the commemoration. Alhaji Jibril Mohammed Magaji, the district head of Kawo and Dan Makoyon Zazzau was the Royal Father at the occasion. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was represented by the Kaduna Field Office’s Head of Media and External Relations, Mallam Rabiu Musa.