Africa’s Children and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Theme:
  • Child Wellbeing
Pages: 42
Year of Publication: 2013
Country: Africa

The deadline for achieving the millennium Development Goals (mDGs) comes to an end in 2015, and the process of developing the post-2015 development agenda is well underway. national Governments and civil society organizations in Africa are leading and contributing to this global process to ensure that issues relevant to Africa are identified, recognized and given priority. in this context, The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), as a Pan-African organization working for the rights and wellbeing of children in Africa, is committed to ensuring that children are at the heart of the international discourse on the post-2015 development agenda. A contextual analysis must inform the way forward, hence this paper.

Africa is undergoing a period of immense prosperity and opportunity, which must be the platform on which any future development agenda should be grounded. it is evident that Africa has achieved positive economic growth. There is also evidence of improvements in positive social development outcomes, for example, in child mortality and primary school enrolment. Furthermore, Africa has succeeded in retaining a strong social fabric and resilient family networks in the face of adversity. its future is also promising; it has a growing young, potentially productive population and a significant mineral and natural resource base. it is building and benefiting from new and emerging partnerships. 

Africa is generally a relatively more peaceful continent. yet, despite this progress, Africa also faces significant challenges. There is evidence of persistent inequalities and continued exclusion  from social services for the most vulnerable unacceptably high levels of child malnutrition; an inadequate quality of social services, particularly in education, water and sanitation; increasing national budget requirements in the social sectors (education, early childhood development, social protection, health) associated with a growing, young population; inadequate child protection systems for children; increasing urbanization; persistent civil conflict in some countries and, finally, significant capacity gaps that limit the ability of many African Governments to fulfil their obligations to children. These factors should inform the discourse on the post-2015 development agenda. 

The new development agenda should also envisage the fact that a number of broader global trends will increasingly impact Africa’s children, specifically: the continuing global economic crisis, climate change and the rapid spread of information technology. Finally, it is well to recognize that the mDGs have provided a historical global framework and have made a significant contribution towards improving the lives of people, including children in Africa. Therefore the post-2015 development agenda must build on the strengths of the current mDGs and address their limitations. 

This analysis identifies a number of considerations that must be reflected in the post-2015 agenda for children in Africa, namely the need to ensure: that commitments are made to the unfinished agenda and greater attention is given to quality; that child protection systems including juvenile justice must be an integral component of broader systems of rule of law; that social transformative policies translate economic growth into improved social development outcomes; and that, in the context of emerging risks and vulnerabilities, social protection systems are put in place in order to provide additional protection for the most vulnerable children. This situational analysis informs “Towards an African Position on Children and the Post-2015 Development Agenda” (ACPF, April 2013), a position paper which aims to draw attention to the central importance of children and their security in the current and future development agenda in Africa. it proposes a framework for action and identifies key priorities for ensuring that the wellbeing and rights of Africa’s children are protected, promoted and fulfilled in the post-2015 development agenda.

Language: English
Published by: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Author: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Located in: Publications
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