Posted by: africanpressorganization | 6 November 2009

Making Africa’s Youngest Children a Top Priority / Pan-African conference in Dakar

 

 


 ADEA

 

 

Making Africa’s Youngest Children a Top Priority / Pan-African conference in Dakar

 

DAKAR, Sénégal, November 6, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Making Africa’s Youngest Children a Top Priority

Pan-African conference in Dakar will gather Heads of State, First Ladies, Ministers of

Finance, Education and Health and experts to promote expansion of programs for young

children across Africa.

Recognizing the urgent needs facing millions of impoverished

African children, senior government officials — including Heads of State, First Ladies and

Ministers of Education, Finance and Health — from Africa and around the world are gathering

next week in Dakar, Senegal, to highlight the importance of broadening health, education and

protection programs for young children across the continent.

The “Fourth African International Conference on Early Childhood Development (ECD): A Call

to Action,” which will take place November 10–13, 2009, at Dakar’s Hotel Méridien Président,

will bring together policy-makers, experts and innovators to work toward rapidly expanding and

improving services for young children, particularly vulnerable children; strengthening policies to

support and protect young children; and increasing investments in quality programs and bringing

them to scale.

Ministers of Education, Finance and Health from 36 African countries are expected. First Ladies

will also be in Dakar and will conduct a colloquium on early childhood development. The

conference will close with a celebration of young children at Stadium Marius Ndiaye.

Senegal’s President, His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade, will open the proceedings on Tuesday,

November 10, at 4:00 pm.

Over half of Africa’s 130 million children ages 0–6 live in poverty and suffer multiple challenges

that result in high rates of developmental delay, malnutrition, chronic illness and disability.

Meanwhile HIV/AIDS, malaria, endemic violent conflicts and severe poverty affect young

children and mothers the most. The global economic crisis is exacerbating these challenges.

Still, despite the difficulties they face, governments across Africa have recognized the importance

of early childhood development for the economic success and development of their countries.

This conference will allow them the opportunity to explore ways to increase investments in

programs for the young children who are so important to their nations’ future.

The conference is jointly organized by the Association for the Development of Education in

Africa (ADEA) Working Group on Early Childhood Development (WGECD) and the

government of Senegal. It is sponsored by a wide range of organizations including the following:

UNICEF, the World Bank, the Open Society Institute, Plan International, the World Health

Organization (WHO), the Aga Khan Foundation, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the

Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development (WGECCD), the Early

Childhood Development Virtual University (ECDVU), and the Education for All Fast Track

Initiative.

For additional information on the conference and its program visit: http://www.ecdconference.org

About ADEA’s Working Group on early Childhood Development (WGECD)

The Working Group on Early Childhood Development (WGECD) was created by the Association

for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) in 1993. It is currently led by UNESCO

BREDA and coordinated by Save the Children USA. Today, it stands as the leading framework

for consulting and orienting the main technical and financial partners for ECD in Africa. Its

purpose is to influence policy related to the development of the young child (0-8 years) and thus

contribute to expanding and improving sustainable and appropriate ECD provision in Africa.

WGECD promotes and supports the holistic development of young children by building bridges

between the different actors involved in ECD at both regional and national levels. Within its

overall mandate, WGECD’s focus is on advocacy and mobilization of political and public

support; contribution to the knowledge base on ECD in Africa by facilitating research, capacity

and knowledge building, dissemination and exchange; stimulating policy review, development,

implementation and monitoring; motivating partnership building and networking. For more

information on WGECD, visit the ADEA web site: http://www.adeanet.org

Dakar, November 5, 2009.

Press contacts:

• Kate Conradt, Director, Media and Communications, Save the Children, kconradt@savechildren.org

In Washington D.C. (to November 8): tel. +1/ 202 – 640-6631 (office), +1/ 202 294 9700 (cell)

In Dakar (from November 8): Hotel Méridien Président, Dakar

• Caro Diagne Ndao, Communication Officer, Agence Nationale de la case des Tout-petits, Dakar

Sénégal, tel. +221/ 77 645 81 01

• Thanh-Hoa Desruelles, External Relations and Communication, ADEA, t.desruelles@afdb.org,

In Tunis (to November 9): tel. +216/ 7110 3432 (office), +216/ 21 69 11 46 (cell).

In Dakar (from November 9): Hotel Méridien Président, Dakar

• Lawalley Cole, Coordinator, ADEA Working Group on Communication for Education and

Development (WGCOMED), l.cole@unesco.org:

In Cotonou (to November 8): +229/ 21 32 04 12/ 2132 03 53 (office); +229/ 95 29 51 55 (cell).

In Dakar (from November 8): Hotel Méridien Président, Dakar

 

SOURCE 

 

Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA)

 


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