The widow of Nelson Mandela warns about the future of the coming generation due to instability and illiteracy. According to her, the lack of nutrition and education pose a major threat to the peace and prosperity of the future.
Machel Graca, the widow of Nelson Mandela and chairperson of the international board of trustees of the African Child Policy Forum(ACPF) warns of future problems that Africa could face due to malnutrition and illiteracy levels of their highly increasing youth. Basing herself on 2018 report of the ACPF on the child friendliness index of African governments, the youth is highly increasing yet governments are not investing in their future which might result with “a billion angry, underfed, uneducated and underemployed youth by the year 2050”.
Machel is the chairperson of the international board of trustees of the African Child Policy Forum(ACPF). She expressed this in advance of the release of the 2018 Africa Report on Child wellbeing which is set to be published this Friday 2nd November 2018.
The ACPF ranks over 52 countries on the wellbeing of the youth and reviews how they are meeting the rights of children under the international conventions on child rights.
More specifically, she warns that Africa may become “the continent of a billion angry, underfed, uneducated and underemployed youth by the year 2050” unless African nations invest much more in their youth and children.
“Even though our youth have the potential to transform Africa, if neglected, they could exacerbate poverty and inequality while threatening peace, security, and prosperity,” she said.
In addition, reports and statistics show that the youth and children in Africa are expected to be 750 billion by 2030 and about 1 billion in 2050 and will be about 40% of the global youth and child population.
She said that there is a massive investment to be put in the youth to educate and support them for the continent to be prevented from this future problem by 2050.
This years report of child friendliness index of African governments states that there has been massive improvement resulting from a 50% reduction of mortality in children over the last 15 years and increase in giving children access to primary education.
Countries reported to be child-friendly are Mauritius, Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Cabo Verde, Egypt, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Morocco and Lesotho and the least child friendly South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Cameroon, Zambia, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea and Eritrea according to the ACPF report.
These rankings were based on several criteria such as child social protection, nutrition, and education.
Furthermore, authors of the report state that “Africa is on the verge of a serious human development crisis, which carries grave consequences for the social and economic well-being of its people and for the future of the continent.”
“Undernutrition remains a serious and persistent problem. It is the single biggest challenge for Africa’s children. Stunting remains unacceptably high, at 30.4%. Up to half of all deaths in under-fives are associated with undernutrition. And while African children may attend school in large numbers, they are not learning. Two in every five children leave primary school without learning how to read, write or do simple arithmetic,” the ACPF director said explaining that there are more reasons to why governments should be concerned.
Lastly, the ACPF report calls for urgent action to governments to prevent this arising problem and create more jobs and opportunities for their youth.
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