Early Childhood Development, Education and Care (ECD/ECEC) has become a priority for governments and international bodies. ECD/ECEC is explicitly included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG4, 4.2), underlining the global consensus.
The East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Republic of Zimbabwe, hosted the 67th ECSA Health Ministers Conference (HMC) themed ‘Universal Health Coverage: Addressing Health Needs of the Underserved’. The conference brought together government officials from Ministries of Health, health experts and collaborating partners from Africa and beyond, with the aim of identifying policy issues and passing resolutions that contribute to addressing health needs of the underserved.
In June 2015, the AU Assembly committed to establishing of a team of 10 Heads of State and Government (C10). The team would serve as Africa’s Champions of Education, Science and Technology and would set a high-level platform for pursuing the achievement of SDG’s and implementation of AU’s Agenda 2063. The champion team of ten comprises Egypt, Tunisia, Chad, Gabon, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Mauritius, Malawi and Namibia.
AfECN in partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Health and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, under the auspices of the ECED cluster hosted an advocacy event during the African Union’s 2nd International Conference on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (ICMNCH) hosted by the African Union and Kenya Ministry of Health on in Nairobi, Kenya.
The first ever-international ECD conference was hosted in collaboration with the Government of Kenya at The Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi. In attendance were over 800 delegates from 48 African Countries, 5 Continents, over 100 organizations including Government representatives from Ministries of Education, Health, and Social Protection; Civil Society Organizations, representatives of teachers unions, high level political representation, UN agencies, private sector, philanthropists, donor communities and academia. This inaugural event was aimed at bringing together global, regional, national and local public and private interest groups to disseminate evidence and share experiences aimed at enhancing and scaling good ECD practices across Africa and beyond.
There is a global consensus about the importance of high quality early childhood development, education and care (ECDEC) programmes. Increasingly, the systemic characteristics of early childhood programmes are recognised by policy makers and international bodies. This ‘systemic turn’ has created new challenges.