Gender Life and Style

‘Southern Africa needs more to achieve MDGs’

From PANIC CHILUFYA from Windhoek, Namibia
Southern Africa still has a long way to go in meeting most Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which have an effect on the welfare of children,  says Save the Children technical advisor on child right’s governance in East and Southern Africa Petronella Mayeya.
She was speaking in Windhoek, Namibia on Thursday when she presented a paper on Children’s Rights and the post-2015 Development Agenda – Lessons for southern Africa during a two-day regional meeting of ‘Children and Media’ partners summit 2014 hosted by MISA regional secretariat and supported by the Save the Children International.
She said for the future, Save the Children would like to see an agenda that promotes the rights of children by enhancing capacities through the strengthening of the governance system, human rights, access to a credible justice system and accountability among so many other rights.
Ms Mayeya said one of the challenges of the current MDGs was the monitoring system which did not take into consideration the rights of children.
“For the future, we would like to see an agenda that builds capacity for young people; are there decent jobs in your countries as you build the workforce?” she asked.
Save the Children would like to see economic transformation in the national governance styles and the building of institutional capacity. There is need to explore what governance means for children and whether respective governments are prioritising the rights of children as they plan.
Ms Mayeya said there is need to promote enablers in the various countries through resource mobilisation by developing new peace, security and infrastructural development for the benefit of children.
Save the Children has been part of consultations at African Union and United Nations where the shared vision post-2015 is being proposed.
Ms Mayeya said the post-2015 framework must focus global attention on children’s needs so that even the poorest and most marginalised can live fulfilled healthy lives and; that their voices are heard in decision-making that affect the health of the planet they will inherit.
“Children are the future, and they will be the ones to suffer if we carry on with ‘business as usual’ development paths that are destroying our natural resource base and leaving too many people behind,” she said.
The summit hoped to achieve a greater understanding of rights and issues affecting children in southern Africa. To gain an appreciation for children as agents of change and to enhance advocacy journalism; to share the developments in children’s media in southern Africa with key players.
Other objectives were to promote children’s participation; raise the status of programming and to agree on an action plan on children’s reporting and media productions.
The summit with child participants from Lesotho, Zambia, South Africa and Namibia closed yesterday.

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