He urged SADC member countries to scale up interventions in favour of the African child and youth.
The global theme for this year’s commemoration was “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First”.
He challenged the entire SADC Region to act in concert as governments work together for the protection of the rights of the African child within the framework of the SADC minimum package of services for orphans, vulnerable children and youth, and other regional instruments.
President Geingob said: “This is a day to pause, reflect and act for the future of the African child. Namibia has done considerable work on protecting the rights of the child, ranking in the top ten child-friendly countries in Africa”.
He said the Namibian Constitution provides for the protection of the rights of children and government has social protection mechanisms for orphans and vulnerable children.
“With the entry into force in February 2019 of the Child Care and Protection Act 3 of 2015, government is shifting gear by creating a new architecture to consolidate the gains of the past 29 years. In doing so, Namibia is scaling up interventions and commits to do more to realize a brighter future for the youth and the African Child.”, he noted.
Namibia has ratified all the major conventions and protocols in the area of Children’s Rights, and was recently ranked 7th in Africa in the Child Friendliness Index compiled by the African Child Policy Forum.
The Day of the African child is commemorated every year on 16 June since 1991. On the 16 June 1976, thousands of black children took to the streets in Soweto, South Africa to protest against the inferior Bantu Education System.