Dear Custodians, AMC Members, Partners, Friends and Children,
I send you warm season greetings as we come to the end of another year that has been characterized with so much suffering for children around the world and particularly here in Africa, notwithtanding our collective efforts to bring the child rights agenda to the appropriate forum.
Conflicts in Northern Nigeria, Cameroun, Niger, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa Republic, South Sudan, Somalia and the deaths in the high seas of young children and their mothers is a grim reminder to us all to do more to secure a quality of life for our children that we can all be proud of as Africans.
As we continue to engage in the discourse of crafting the next Development Agenda Post 2015, we need to remain conscious of the unfinished business especially in respect of the African child. The challenges facing the African child are increasingly becoming a matter that transcends one country and investment in children in one country will not make a difference when next door the children have no access to basic services and their rights are not respected.
I would like to first take this opportunity to congratulate the new Leadership of the African Union, with H.E. Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat as its Chairperson. A warm welcome and congratulations to the newly elected Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E. Ms Amira Elfadil Mohammed Elfadil! The AMC, a pan-African network of over 120 organisations working on children’s issues, looks forward to supporting the AU’s efforts in the protection and promotion of the rights of children in the continent.
At the Third AMC General Assembly held on October 1st 2016, we, members of the Board of Custodians of the AfricaWide Movement for Children (AMC), have made promises to our members and to our partners who believe in us and support us: to ensure that the work of the AMC is enhanced in every part of Africa ; to support and faciliate the work of our members across the five regions ; to amplify the voice of civil society in Africa ; to work closer with the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) as well as human rights mechanisms in the continent ; to support the work of the African Partnership to End Violence against Children; to work towards an Africa Fit for Children.
We have the Membership, we have the Will. But we need to revisit our working modalities and strengthen our internal accountability mechanisms. We have to reinforce our regional representation structures for improved engagement and better results. We have to work more concretely with our partners, African and international.
I have visited the region of Central Africa in February 2017 and plan to visit the other 4 regions in the near future. In West Africa my visit will include Burkina Faso and Nigeria; I will also visit Egypt and Morocco in North Africa and Uganda in East Africa. My visit in the Southern Africa region will include South Africa and Malawi. These missions will allow us to meet and touch base with civil society organisations and networks in the countries as well as national and regional authorities, partners and sympathisers. We will also take the opportunity of these missions to discuss with our members outstanding issues and concerns raised in Addis Ababa in October 2016, at the Third AMC General Assembly.
We have made promises. We will keep them.
I would like you to disseminate this message through your different networks. I call on you, human rights defenders, partners, sympathisers and children to visit the AfricaWide Movement for Children’s website, www.africawidemovement.org; subscribe and defend our noble cause which is, an Africa without violence towards children.
Mohamadou Lamine Cissé