Day of the African Child

Published: 10 Jun, 2015

Today, Rwanda is commemorating the Day of the African Child under the theme “Accelerating our Common Efforts for Early Childhood Development in Rwanda.”

The commemorative event, led by MIGEPROF, will bring together stakeholders from the government, civil society organizations, international NGOs, and bilateral and multilateral organizations. As a sign of hope and progress, the coalition of global players is renewing their commitment to the country’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) program.

“The early years of a child’s life quite literally present the opportunity of a lifetime. What happens, or does not happen to a child through its early childhood can influence the entire course of that child’s life, for better or for worse” said Noala Skinner, Representative of UNICEF Rwanda.
In April 2012, the Government of Rwanda organized a national Stakeholders meeting on Early Childhood Development under the leadership of Her Excellency Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda. The meeting offered a platform for advocacy on the need for ECD services and constructive engagement with stakeholders on their respective obligations to support ECD interventions.

Early Childhood Development has become a national priority of the Government of Rwanda, marked as a foundational issue in the EDPRS II. The government has now updated the National ECD policy to cater for emerging needs of children from conception to 6 years whilst emphasizing on positive parenting as a cornerstone to sustainable ECD.

“The Government of Rwanda recognizes that ECD is a vital foundation for addressing all children’s needs which call for special attention because their rights are the bedrock for a good future. We need to link with other Ministries in order to ensure ECD is included in government plans,” said Honorable Oda Gasinzigwa, Minister for Gender and Family Promotion.

In the years since beginning the program, the government has stayed vigilant to the initiatives and has seen infant mortality rates drop from 109 infant deaths per 1000 births in 2000, to now 32 deaths per 1000.

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