As Africa celebrates the Day of the African Child today, UNICEF in partnership with Nigeria’s Ministry of Education and state universal basic education boards of five northern states launched the Girls For Girls initiative, to be shortened as G4G.
Bauchi, Niger, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states are being encouraged to empower girls with information and knowledge to help build their capacity to stand up for themselves.
The initiative is aimed at creating equal opportunities for girls to access education.
UNICEF believes that today’s launch is well-timed with the celebration which focuses on empowerment and equal opportunity, especially for the girl child.
In Cross River State, the emphasis is on unity in diversity.
Commemorating the day in Calabar, the state capital, the Emeraldfield Academy used the occasion to highlight the beauty in Africa’s diversity.
The occasion featured cultural displays and cuisine by different tribes in Nigeria as well as other African countries.
The President of the Academy, Mr Gerald Adah, said it is important for children to be taught about the strength in diversity.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs in the state, Stella Odey, said the implementation of the Child Rights Act is a priority and that the state government had set up a Child Rights Implementation Committee to speed up the implementation.
Also, the Osun State government marked the day with the promise that it will continue to protect children against violence and enforce their rights.
While there was no celebration to mark the day in the state, the Commissioner For Women, Children and Social Affairs, Mrs Latifat Giwa, said the welfare of children was a priority for the government.
This, she said, influenced the introduction of the O’ Meal Programme in Public Schools across the state.
According to her, the programme is part of the social protection programme of the government and it has in no small measure taken most children off the streets and helped to ensure that vulnerable kids are fed in school.
Also, she said the government started implementing the Child Rights Act in the state since 2007 to ensure the safety of children.