Despite important strides in the fight against poverty over the past two decades with nearly 1.1 billion people escaping extreme poverty since 1990, child poverty remains widespread and persistent, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. From 23-25 October, policymakers, researchers and NGOs will come together to identify solutions for fighting child poverty and inequality in Africa at the Putting Children First conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
As children across the world are most likely to be poor, with 50 percent of extremely poor children living in sub-Saharan Africa the event aims to build on the momentum of the SDGs to ensure that children remain at the centre of the agenda in Africa and other parts of the world.
Agnes Akosua Aidoo, African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), who will be presenting at the event said:
H.E. Ms. Demitu Hambisa, the Minister for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Ethiopia will also be speaking at the opening session, alongside Leila Pakkala, Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF.
This conference offers a platform for bridging divides across sectors, disciplines and policy, practice and research and an opportunity to share knowledge and experience. Keetie Roelen at Institute of Development Studies explained:
The meeting will be framed around four overarching themes:
Setting the Scene: Who and Where are the Poor Children?
Child Sensitive Social Protection: Making Social Protection Work for Children
Ensuring Access to Basic Services for All: Reaching and Linking the Poorest and most Marginalised
Supporting Secure Transitions to Adulthood
Co-hosted by a cross-section of policy, NGO and research organisations, this event will bring a diverse range of perspectives into the discussions:
Global Coalition to End Child Poverty (which includes the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), Institute of Development Studies, Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), Save the Children, UNICEF and Young Lives)
This conference aims to bridge the gaps between policymakers, practitioners, civil society and researchers (pdf) 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 the design of more effective and policies programmes - and to address the multi-dimensional and complex challenges of poverty.
Ultimately it 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.