Ghana joined the rest of Africa to mark the 2018 Day of the African Child on Saturday 16th June with the theme “Leave no child behind for Africa’s development”.
Speaking at a durbar in Somanya, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba said the choice of theme for this year’s celebration “reaffirms the importance of highlighting the linkages between Agenda 2030 and children’s rights”.
She called on all Ghanaians to join forces to ease the problems children face daily whilst pushing for the adoption of special intervention to promote child rights.
According to the minister, “it is imperative that accelerated efforts are made to bring all children onboard in Ghana. This could be done when all partners come together to collaborate and share ideas towards making sure that all children in Ghana are in school and are retained in school”.
She said government had already put in place several social interventions to help “increase enrollment and retention in schools, improve health care, create jobs, among others”.
Otiko Afisah Djaba also tasked children to make good use of the investments that are being channelled into their education, health and general wellbeing.
The celebration of the Day of the African Child was instituted in 1990 by the African Heads of State in commemoration of the massacre of innocent children in Soweto under the now-defunct Aparthied system in South Africa in 1976.
The sad incident occurred when thousands of black school children marched in a column of more than half a mile long on the streets of Soweto, to protest the inferior quality of their education and demanded their right to be taught in their own language.
Hundreds of young boys and girls were shot down by security forces. In the two weeks of protest that followed, more than a hundred people were killed and over one thousand were injured.
In honour of the memory of those gallant children who were killed and the courage of all those who marched in the 1976 Soweto Uprising, the African Union set aside 16th of June as the Day of the African Child (DAC), to remember them and what they stood and fought for.