Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Radio, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Government of Liberia jointly celebrated the 49th anniversary of ECOWAS and the Day of the African Child

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Radio, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Government of Liberia jointly celebrated the 49th anniversary of ECOWAS and the Day of the African Child

<div>Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Radio, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Government of Liberia jointly celebrated the 49th anniversary of ECOWAS and the Day of the African Child</div>
<div>Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Radio, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Government of Liberia jointly celebrated the 49th anniversary of ECOWAS and the Day of the African Child</div>

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

The celebration took place on 16 June in Monrovia, Liberia. The day was celebrated under the international theme: “Education for all children in Africa: The time is now”, encompassing a holistic approach to education for all, despite race, color, creed and religion, among others.

The programme, held at the ECOWAS regional radio station, brought together government representatives, a leading member of Liberia’s civil society organisation and children from a variety of educational backgrounds, including pupils from the School for the Blind. The event, which took place in two phases, included discussions on the rule of law sector, child labor, drug abuse and sexual violence in schools. The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Colonel Gregory Coleman, took part in one of the discussions.

Colonel Coleman, deliberating on rule of law, specified that all citizens have equal rights under the law, irrespective of their statuses in society, emphasizing, that ignorance to the law excuses no one. He further mentioned the relevance of creating awareness on provisions of the law, in order to ensure full adherence, while at the same time disclosing, that the Liberia National Police is collaborating with the Liberia Drug enforcement Agency, in the fight against drug abuse. He cautioned the children of Liberia and those in the region, to avoid becoming accomplices to the drug trade which leads to addiction, adding, “as you celebrate the day of the African child, you must prioritize your education above peer pressure, as a strong recipe to becoming good leaders in the region”.

Inspector Coleman promised to work assiduously with the leadership of the Liberian Children’s Parliament and other regional youth parliaments, in further enhancing their capacities through education on national and international instruments that promote their rights to education as a fundamental human right.

The Executive Director of NAYMOTE Partners for Democratic Development, Mr. Eddie Jarwolo, representing Civil Society, challenged the children to aspire towards the principles of good leadership, which require transparency and Accountability. He noted that accountability guarantees respectable leadership which easily helps to address issues of corruption.

Madam Victoria Zaway, Directress for Children and Social Protection, speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said her ministry’s ultimate goal is to engage major stakeholders-in both the private and public sectors, in efforts to promote the rights of children to education in Liberia.

The Day of the African Child (DAC) was climaxed by a live stage performance of the Lion King Movie, with casts from the Josephine Clarke Academy, depicting key moral lessons of Responsibility and Leadership, Courage and Perseverance, Friendship and Loyalty, alongside Redemption and Forgiveness.

The Day of the African Child was instituted in 1991 by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU, now AU in memory of the 16th of June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa. About 20,000 children took to the streets, protesting the poor quality of their education and demanded their right to be taught in their own language. The DAC also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).