Aug 10, 2023 | News

Empowering Africa's Children: AUDA-NEPAD and UNICEF Unite for Positive Change"

In an effort to foster the well-being and development of Africa's children and young people, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have joined forces through a landmark partnership. This collaboration, formalised by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in September 2022, aims to champion the rights of Africa's youth and pave the way for transformative initiatives that will positively impact their lives over the next three years.

The AUDA-NEPAD and UNICEF recently held a Partnership Meeting in Johannesburg from 25th to 28th July 2023 to mark a significant step forward in this collaborative effort. Representatives from both organisations convened to discuss key priorities, including education, health, nutrition, and the impact of trade on Africa's young population. The meeting emphasised the alignment of these priorities with the Africa’s Agenda 2063, the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) agreement.

In his remarks during the Meeting, AUDA-NEPAD Director of Human Capital and Institutional Development, Symerre Grey-Johnson highlighted the importance of the partnership’s human capital development focus as part of achieving the #Agenda2063 goals. He He stated, "The future of our continent hinges on the strength of our human capital. And building that human capital begins with securing the health and cognitive capacity of our children."

Two critical priorities emerged in the partnership's agenda: malaria control and education. The partnership aims to reduce malaria cases by 20% through strategic interventions, such as supporting the approval and local production of malaria vaccines. At the same time, a focus on transforming education is at the forefront, with emphasis on STEM education and skill development to equip young Africans for meaningful careers.

Ms. Laila Gad, Director for the UNICEF AU Liaison Office, emphasised how the partnership seeks to support the African Union and its member states in achieving positive impacts on health and education for the children and youth of Africa. She outlined the partnership's catalytic role in bringing on board other stakeholders into the acceleration of the implementation of the Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

To ensure effective implementation, AUDA-NEPAD and UNICEF have committed to co-convene key events at global and continental levels to showcase progress and gather further support for their joint initiatives.

The partnership between AUDA-NEPAD and UNICEF represents a powerful force for positive change, working towards the well-being and development of African children and young people.

By addressing critical issues such as malaria control and education transformation, the partnership is laying the groundwork for a brighter and more prosperous future for the next generation of African leaders. With a unified vision and collaborative approach, AUDA-NEPAD and UNICEF are steadfast in building a better Africa for all.