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Labour, poverty shadow African child’s outlook

By | March 8th 2010 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

More than any other single factor, the need for political survival is the greatest obstacle to consistency from national leaders who have pledged ‘zero tolerance’ to high-level corruption.

Today, many people can name the eight Millennium Development Goals set ten years ago with ease. However, as the progress review date of 2015 inches closer, not many can tell you how far we have gone on each one including eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child deaths, as well as improving health of mothers.

Others are: combating the spread of HIV and Aids, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, developing global partnerships for development and achieving universal primary education. This last one is of concern today.

A United Nations report says about 36 million children of school-going age in Africa are out of school. This drops efforts to achieve the MDG goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015, flat on its face.

Work and hawk

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High dropout rates are alarmingly high due to armed conflict, early marriage and female genital mutilation and income disparities that force many families to deploy children to work and hawk to bolster family incomes.

Widespread want in slums and the hinterland renders formal education very low down the priority list. It is imperative Government rediscovers its zeal to increase primary school enrolment, narrow the gender gap and criminalise retrogressive cultural practices.

African child Millennium Development Goals
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