Globally, 250 million (43%) children from low and middle-income countries are at risk of not achieving their developmental potential. Stunting and poverty in early childhood have been found to be major risk factors for poor development, resulting in cognitive and social-emotional deficits. An analysis of the stunting and poverty data from 141 low and middle-income countries in 2010 found that for majority of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa the prevalence of children at risk of poor development was 60%, the highest prevalence of poor development compared to any other region.
For Africa, this represents a significant gap in human potential impacting the health, wealth and economic prosperity of African communities. Reducing poverty and stunting is a priority for enhancing the environments of young children in Africa to ensure they survive and thrive through adulthood to become productive members of society able to contribute to the growth and well-being of their communities.
To address the above challenges, the First African Early Childhood Network (AfECN) International Conference on Early Childhood Development was held on 16 - 19 October 2018 at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya. Organized under the theme “The Africa We Want: A Better Future Now”, this event brought together 500 participants from Africa and beyond including high level policy makers, civil society organizations, development partners, ECD professionals, academia, practitioners, private sector actors and human rights activists, all working to support Early Childhood Development for enhanced social and economic development in Africa.
The conference also served as a knowledge-exchange and skill-developing platform with a strong focus on strengthening partnerships and building new collaborations to scale best practices in ECD that are culturally and contextually relevant for Africa, now and throughout 2063.
For more details please see attached the Conference Concept Note and Final Communique below.
Photo credit: WorldRemit