SOMALIA: Healthcare, education gains as Somaliland marks 20th anniversary

Hargeisa, 26 May 2011 - The self-declared republic of Somaliland has made key improvements in sectors such as health, education and infrastructure in the past two decades, its leaders say, despite its lack of international recognition."One of the main obstacles for Somaliland is lack of recognition, but my government will never give up trying to gain it," President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Siilanyo said on 18 May, when the region marked 20 years since declaring unilateral independence from the rest of Somalia.Efforts in reconciliation, nation-building and drafting a new constitution have helped promote peace in the region, Siilanyo said."We have put in place a new currency and passport, encour...

Poorer African states put children first: Study

Johannesburg, May 25, 2011- The oil-rich governments of Sudan and Angola are among the worst in Africa for looking after children, while poorer Tanzania, Mozambique and Niger are the best, a study showed on Tuesday. The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) research looked at health, education and other social spending as a proportion of the overall budget in order to gauge governments' commitment to nurturing children -- key to improving long-term national economic prospects. Poorer countries scored highest, dedicating a bigger share of their spending to social programmes, the report said, while wealthier nations, such as Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Sudan, fared worst. The re...

South Africa: Programme to Skill, Provide Jobs for Rural Youth

Pretoria, 6 May 2011 — The National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSC), a body targeting youth, will not only create jobs but also help prepare youngsters to become better persons and foot soldiers for their respective communities.Designed to complement the government's job creation model, the project is aimed mainly at creating employment but also at uplifting the countryside with services and infrastructure.The aim is to also ensure that the rural youth "fish for themselves" by being absorbed into the mainstream of the country's economy through acquiring skills, says President Jacob Zuma.The programme was first introduced by the Department of Rural Development last year when it targeted ...

Sudan: Domestic Violence Drives Children Onto the Streets

Wau, Sudan, 7 April 2011 — Nearly fifty per cent of the street children in the major urban centres in the oil producing region of South Sudan appear to have been forced onto the streets due to the abuse of their rights, cruelty and a lack of parental care.Monica Louis Madut, an advisor on gender affairs in the government of Western Bahr el Ghazal made the revelations on Thursday, during a public briefing with local government officials and other stakeholders dealing with street children in Wau.She was briefing a public gathering attended by Wol Dhiel Thiep, commissioner of Jur River county and community leaders in Wau town, to share the findings of the survey she conducted in seven differe...

SOMALIA: Recruitment of child soldiers on the increase

Nairobi, 25 March 2011 - With the escalation of fighting across Somalia since January, armed groups have reportedly recruited more child soldiers to their ranks, some even forcing teachers to enlist pupils.In a recent offensive against rebel groups in Bulo Hawo town on the border with Kenya, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated on 17 March, "...children were involved as fighters and a significant number of them were killed. According to reports, intense fighting in the area between Dhusamareb and Ceel bur in Galgadud has also resulted in many child casualties.”"The TFG [Transitional Federal Government] forces, their allies, the Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama, and Al-Shabab are all engaged in the ...

The MAEJT holds annual African Commission meeting

20th March, 2011 - The African Commission of the African Movement of Working Children (MAEJT) held its annual meeting from 14th to 26th February in the Senegalese city of Thiès. The meeting gathered national delegates from Bénin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinée Bissau, Guinée, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, DRC, Rwanda, Senegal, Tchad, Togo and Zimbabwe. At the meeting attendants evaluated last year’s national activities according to the Movement’s seven action areas to assess the results achieved and the progress made. Additionally, they agreed to update the follow-up surveys, evaluated the coordination follow-up system and appr...

LIBYA-NIGER: West African migrants pour in

DAKAR, 15 March 2011 (IRIN) - For aid agencies and local authorities in the village of Dirkou (population about 4,000), northern Niger, the priority is to have migrants fleeing Libya move through as quickly as possible. The UN estimates that some 60,000 people could come into Niger from Libya in the coming weeks. As of 10 March, 2,205 had arrived - 1,865 of them Nigeriens and the rest from other West African countries - according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The number in Dirkou varies day to day, with new arrivals and truckloads of people moving on to the regional capital Agadez, 650km to the south - many to return to their hometowns or home co...

Angola: School Parliament Project to Reach Luanda

Luanda, 12 March 2011 — A project dubbed "School Parliament", under the aegis of Search for Common Ground in Angola (SFCG) in partnership with the Angolan Executive will be implemented in the provinces of Luanda and Cabinda, with a view to enable interaction among youths in deciding about democratic future, said Friday the official in charge of the project, João Domingos.The official was speaking on the sidelines of training action designed to the young students from various schools of the country's capital, on the "Rights, fundamental duties and citizenship".According to him, the first group will comprise 50 young students of High Education in Luanda and 25 in Cabinda, aged between 15 an...

UGANDA: Food, water crisis looms for thousands

Agago, Uganda, 9 March 2011 - Thousands of people in 36 of Uganda's 112 districts are at risk of serious food and water shortages due to drought attributed to the La Niña weather phenomenon.Health officials have warned of outbreaks of diseases such as diarrhoea and dysentery, due to poor hygiene.The situation requires urgent attention, says the Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru. "We are experiencing food shortages; some families are [already] going without food."The ministry has issued public alerts, warning of impending severe water shortages and famine in parts of the country.Ecweru said the government was working out ways of securing money for relief food and identifying th...

South Africa: Nation Failing Its Poor Children

South Africa, 23 February 2011 - South Africa's world-class government-led programmes are failing to reach poor children on the margins, according to child experts.Speaking yesterday (WED) at the release of the"Government-funded programmes and services for vulnerable children in South Africa" report, South African Human Rights Commissioner Lindiwe Mokate said it was doubtful as to whether government had a human rights approach when it came to the country's vulnerable children.She said it was time the country did more to ensure the meaningful participation of children in decisions that affected them."We must not just bus them in to sing and clap at events," Mokate said.Professor Linda Richer ...

 

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