A conference that gathers great minds from round the world to identify solutions and call for actions to curb child poverty and inequality in Africa was convened from 23 to 25 October 2017 at the UN ECA Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Named as ‘Putting Children First: ‘Putting Children First: Identifying Solutions and Taking Action to Tackle Child Poverty and Inequality in Africa’, the conference aims to bridge the gaps between policymakers, practitioners, civil society and researchers in recognition of the importance of and opportunity for using knowledge and evidence generated from well-focused research on children in poverty in Africa to inform policies and to address the multi-dimensional and complex challenges of poverty.
In her impressive keynote address, Dr. Agnes Akosua Aidoo, International Board of Trustees, African Child Policy Forum said: “Poverty affects children in lifelong ways, from malnutrition, poor health, lack of success in school, harmful labour and an overall poor quality of life. Not only is this extremely damaging for children and their families, but it has a lasting and detrimental impact on the prosperity and the wellbeing of their countries. Child poverty is everyone’s problem, and national governments should make addressing it their absolute priority.”
‘Putting Children First’ encompassed presentation of and discussion on a number of research outputs organized around four overarching themes:
1. Setting the Scene: Who and Where are the Poor Children?
2. Child Sensitive Social Protection: Making Social Protection Work for Children
3. Ensuring Access to Basic Services for All: Reaching and Linking the Poorest and most Marginalised
4. Supporting Secure Transitions to Adulthood
Ultimately the conference aims to ‘make evidence matter’ for the poorest and most marginalised children. This is in order to inspire action and mobilise champions among policymakers, politicians, civil society and other key decision-makers throughout African societies.
This international conference engaged more than hundred policy makers, practitioners and researchers in identifying solutions for fighting child poverty and inequality in Africa, and inspiring action towards change. It offered a platform for bridging divides across sectors, disciplines and policy, practice and research.
The conference started with very inspiring speeches and welcoming remarks delivered by: Ms. Leila Pakkala, Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF; Thokozile Ruzvidzo, Social Development Policy Division Director, UNECA; Dr. Agnes Akosua Aidoo, International Board of Trustees, ACPF; and H.E. Ms Demitu Hambisa, Minister Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Ethiopia.
The three-day Conference was hosted by a unique partnership of the Ethiopian Centre for Child Research (ECCR) at Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP), ESRC-DFID Impact Initiative for International Development Research, the Ethiopian Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty, including African Child Poverty Forum (ACPF), Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), Save the Children, UNICEF and Young Lives