Let Us Not Fail The Ghanaian Child – Gender Minister
June 16, 2018 7:55 am
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba has appealed to all stakeholders involved in the development and protection of children not to neglect issues facing the Ghanaian Child. Thus, Hon. Otiko Djaba has urged them to collaborate with government, work, and intensify efforts towards fulfilling the rights of children.
The Sector Minister added “it was not good enough to just talk about children being the future leaders but fight for them and mould them to become the future leaders we want to see without leaving any child behind”.
Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba made these pronouncements at a Durbar held for the celebration of the ‘2018 A.U Day of the African Child’. The event took place on Saturday 16th June, 2018 (Day of the African Child) in Somanya in the Eastern Region.
This year’s commemoration was on the theme “LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND FOR AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT”. The theme was purposefully couched to create awareness for stakeholders to uphold and protect children rights for a better development of the country, since children form the majority of the country’s population and in turn are the most vulnerable in the society.
The Day for the African Child was instituted by the African Union (A.U) Heads of States some years ago to commemorate the massacre of children in South Africa during the apartheid era in 1976. Since then, the annual event for Member States of the A.U seeks out to reflect, sensitise, and strategise on current welfare and development issues, draw the attention of all actors to prevailing child development issues and challenges, and unite efforts towards improving the conditions of children on the continent.
Touching on Government responsibilities to children, Hon. Otiko Djaba said that remains devoted to ensuring that there is a peaceful and enabling environment for all children to enjoy their rights. Government she said, has formulated relevant laws such as Children’s Act, Human Trafficking Act, and Domestic Violence Act as well as developed Child and Family Welfare Policy and Justice for Children Policy to better protect the children, the minister added.
“Again, through its social intervention policies, government has provided initiatives and programmes to increase enrolment and retention in schools, improve health care, create jobs among others” to further protect the need of children”, the Minister added.
This shows government commitment towards ensuring that children, irrespective of gender, race, language, geographical location or social status enjoy their basic rights, she emphasised.
Hon. Otiko Djaba mentioned that all partners ought to come together to collaborate and share ideas towards making sure that all children in Ghana are in school and are retained in school.
“It was crucial that partners make accelerated efforts to bring all Ghanaian children on board. Every child must fulfill their full potential, every child matters, so there’s no excuse for us to leave some children at home and allow others to go to school”. She stressed.
The Honourable Minister also stressed on parental responsibility, which is very key to the upbringing of a child. Hon. Otiko said that parents must be sensitized on the importance of raising their child with the needed values and a sense of duty and role of education in their overall development.
Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba cautioned that in order to not repeat the mistakes that led to the uprising in South Africa, there was the need to promote education as a basic human right and a significant factor in the development of children. “Opening classroom doors to all children, especially girls and children with disability will help break the intergenerational chains of poverty, because education is intrinsically linked to all development goals, such as supporting gender empowerment…..” she noted.
Am challenging you, this is a collective responsibility, we need to tackle the problems of the African child, each of us must put in our best to secure the future of generations to come.
Speaking to the children present, she laid out the responsibility for children to make good use of the investments being channeled into their education, health and general wellbeing and also encouraged them.
The Honourable Minister called on everyone present at the durbar to walk the talk with speed and urgency in tackling the problems of the African child and see this as a reminder that our children are relevant in Ghana’s development.
Once again the commemoration of the day left all children merry as Children from various schools in Somanya who gathered at the durbar grounds were given food, drinks, candies, and took home as souvenirs parcels of Samaritan Purse.
The children also had the opportunity to interact, take photographs. and dance with dignitaries present at the durbar.