PICS: Young Africans tell the world about the Africa they want

2018-11-20 19:59
World Children's Day

World Children's Day

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Children from at least six west and central African countries recently took to the the stage of the Africa Dialogues conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to tell the world about the future they envisioned on their continent.

The conference was held ahead of the World Children's Day commemoration, which falls on November 20 every year.

The World Children's Day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954, and it was aimed at pushing governments to pay more attention to the welfare of their young citizens.

At this year's Africa Dialogues conference, organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and others in Burkina Faso, young speakers between the ages of 14 -18 years captivated their peers with speeches on different issues that affected the continent.

The young African citizens, who came from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Niger expressed their "hopes, dreams and fears" for the continent.

Their focus was mainly on education, climate change, migration, living with disabilities, HIV and more.

Here is what some of them said:

"I want an Africa where children access quality education, can dream and become blooming adults contributing to development," said Bassan Badiallo Sow, 17, from Mali.

"I want an Africa where every child is in school, an Africa that can take up every challenge including education," said Eunice Muba Ndowe, 18, from Democratic Republic of Congo.


Rimana Youssouf Assane Mayaki,16, from Niger (Picture: Supplied) 

"I dream of an Africa where children participate actively in decisions affecting them, where children can express themselves freely without being afraid," said Conforte Ericka Trinité Exaucée Gloria Ayanou, 15, from Benin.

"I want an Africa in peace, where no child is forced to leave their country because adults decided to fight," said Amiri Ag Abdoulaye, 17, from Mali.

"I want an Africa where every child, including those living with disabilities, has a chance to succeed," said Evariste Wendyam Ringtoumda, 17, from Burkina Faso.

"I want an Africa where no child has to travel abroad in search of greener pastures because of insecurity or lack of education," said Precious Anastasia Ambe Lum, 14, from Cameroon.

Unicef regional office for west and central Africa spokesperson, Anne-Isabelle Leclercq Balde told News24 that all speakers had a story to tell and they expressed their wish to share it in public.


Picture: Supplied

"All speakers had a story to tell and expressed their wish to share it in public. In some countries, a speaker was already identified, as they were part of, for example, a national youth project or institution within their country. So they were chosen by their peers to represent them," said Leclercq Balde. 

She, however, said that in other countries "an open selection process was organised in partnership with local youth networks or NGOs with young people, who selected the speaker they wanted to represent them at the event. In both cases, the young people were involved in the decision, since World Children’s Day is 'a day for children, by children".

The programme has been running for two years now and according to Leclercq Balde they would continue to host the event, with an aim to include more countries from the continent. 

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Read more on:    unicef  |  niger  |  mali  |  benin  |  cameroon  |  drc  |  burkina faso  |  africa

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