After the launch of the Girls’ Education Movement in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, last week, youths from across Africa on 17 August presented an 11-point “platform of action” to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who undertook to deliver the document to the first UN Special Session on Children in September. “I am honoured that the children of Africa have faith in me to carry their action plan to New York,” Museveni told delegates at the Kampala conference, hosted by the Ugandan government, UNICEF and the Forum for African Women Educationalists. Over 150 youths and 20 ministers and junior ministers of education from 40 African countries attended the Kampala meeting, UNICEF reported.
The “platform for action” spells out 11 points of interest on the promotion of quality education for girls on the African continent. It calls, among other things, for a concerted advocacy effort with government for greater resources; the participation of girls in decisions that affect them; the abolition of harmful practices that act as barriers to girls’ education; and the provision of equal opportunities for girls in scientific subjects. “In study after study, girls’ education emerges as the single best investment that any society can make,” UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy told the forum. “Educated girls become educated women - women who participate in the social, political and economic life of their nation,” she added.
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