A child’s most important steps happen before they set foot in a primary school. By their fifth birthday, children’s brains are 90% developed and the foundations for success at school and in later life are in place. This makes a child’s early years a critical window of opportunity – to set the foundations for life-long success, first at school, and later in life.
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.
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.
This past March network partners from across Africa* met in Nairobi for the first AfECN regional network meeting.