Budgeting for Children in Africa: Concept and Framework for Analysis

Theme:
  • Child Wellbeing
Pages: 115
Year of Publication: 2010
Country: Africa

The colourful enunciations in the host of human rights instruments endorsed by most governments remain hollow promises if they are not backed up by appropriate public spending. Governments must make concrete investments in children to demonstrate commitment to their rights and wellbeing. Budgeting for children is a system where children’s best interests come first, and where child-friendly social and economic policies and procedures are put in place.

Public investment through the budget

There are four generic arguments in favour of public investment in children: the rights argument, the economic argument, the social argument and the political argument.

The rights argument sees the obligations of states as duty bearers to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights. The social and political perspectives, on the other hand, revolve around the bearing and rearing of children as a contribution to societal continuity and the consolidation of democratic governance and social stability.

The economic argument in favour of investment in children can be seen from two angles: investment in children and its impact on future quality and productivity of the labour force; and investment in mothers and would-be-mothers and implications for child wellbeing.

The budget is the most important instrument at the disposal of governments for investing in children and influencing income distribution and poverty. It is a genuine barometer that reflects their policy priorities.

Language: English
Published by: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Author: Shimelis Tsegaye, Yehualashet Mekonen
Located in: Publications
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