Implementation takes place in five phases
The Agenda is implemented in each State party, on the basis of a national implementation plan, guided by the overall Action Plan, for each implementation phase. The end dates of each of the five implementation phases are 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035 and 2040. Each State party reports to the African Children’s Committee at the end of each phase.
Implementation should be aligned with States’ other international obligations and commitments
AU member States should align their national implementation plans and the various Action Plans with their commitments and obligations under AU Agenda 2063, the SDGs and other international treaties.
Implementation is dependent on a large range of stakeholders
The realisation of this Agenda depends on its effective implementation by a range of stakeholders, including the AU political organs, States, relevant government ministries of State parties, civil servants, parents, children, families, teachers, civil society organisations, religious and community leaders, communities and the media.
The approach of AU organs to States should not be homogenised, but should take into account the peculiar circumstances of each country. For example, in the priority areas of under-5 mortality rates and child marriage, the need for urgent and directed action is much more pronounced in some States. The AU’s political engagement should target these States. As far as under-5 mortality is concerned, in 2013, ten sub-Saharan African States had a rate of above 100 per 1000 live births. This group includes five countries emerging from or experiencing conflict (Angola, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone and Somalia); and five other States (Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger and Nigeria). The latter five States, in particular, should be targeted and supported with capacity building, the development of programmes, and donor support. As far as child marriage is concerned, the two countries with the highest prevalence of child marriages (as a percentage of women between the ages of 20 and 24 years who were first married or in union before they were 18 years old) are in Africa, namely, Niger (with 76 per cent) and the Central African Republic (with 68 per cent). Other States, such as Algeria, have a much lower prevalence (of 2 per cent). On the positive side, in respect of birth registration, three countries (South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria) account for three-quarters of the improvement.
Heads of State and government should ensure wide political visibility to the Agenda, and the issues raised therein.
International partnerships should be cultivated to support the implementation of the Agenda
International partners should co-ordinate among themselves where appropriate and align their support and programmes with the strategic objectives, programmes and identified needs of stakeholders of the AU organs and institutions, regional economic communities and member States.
International partners should provide quality and timely technical and financial support to the activities of States, the African Children’s Committee and civil society organisations. International partners should provide technical and financial support towards continent-wide ratification and reporting processes. International partners should invest in community- based mechanisms and local structures to champion the implementation of social protection programmes at the local level. Interventions by development organisations and donors’ projects should be designed holistically and collectively to deliver comprehensive services beyond the limits of individual projects’ life cycles and the capacity limits of institutions.
The visibility and implementation of the African Children’s Charter and the effective functioning of the African Children’s Committee greatly rely on a wide array of national non-State actors. These actors include national human rights institutions; traditional and religious leaders; civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations; academic institutions; research centres; think-tanks; the media; and children themselves. Their partnership is, therefore, crucial. Civil society also assists in monitoring States’ compliance with their obligations, and contributes to the implementation of the decisions of AU organs.
Better co-ordination of efforts across all levels of administration and through effective articulation between governments and non-governmental actors is necessary.
Public-private partnerships, particularly involving local business, are called for, provided that the State exercises regulation, quality control and accountability.
The broad aspirations of this Agenda should guide the adoption of specific measures by national, sub-regional, continental and international stakeholders.
The successful implementation of the Agenda depends on the availability of the required resources
States should prioritise children when developing national and sub-national budgets. They should also prioritise the mobilisation and leverage of sustainable domestic resources and allocate them to implementing various components of the Plan of Action of Africa Fit for Children with a focus on the marginalised, the vulnerable, the poor, children who are orphaned, displaced children and children with disabilities.
States should allocate resources and developed data gathering to inform evidence-based programming, intervention and advocacy. States should undertake costing, to ascertain the cost/benefit ratio to the State in respect of prolonged violations, on the one hand, band measures to curb violations, on the other. Clear budget lines must be allocated to responsible ministries and departments from national to local level. Ministries and agencies responsible for planning and budgets are indispensable allies in this process:The economic costs of inaction on investing in children are too great to be relegated to the margins of a national policy debate.
Effective and efficient supply chains and integrated and transparent procurement systems should be built and maintained.
African development banks, African regional economic communities and development partners should support the implementation of this Agenda, and should increase their efforts at mobilising resources and securing new investments
The successful implementation of the Agenda depends on awareness and visibility
National partners should, in collaboration with the African Children’s Committee, have developed and widely disseminated evidence-based communication and advocacy tools on the rights of children in Africa. The media has a crucial role to play in sensitising populations, creating informed awareness of the plight of children and the importance of their rights being protected, and providing information about a State’s fulfilment of its obligations under national and international law.
The broader context needs to be taken into account
Children’s rights exist within the broader political, social and economic context. These rights depend for their realisation on good political, social and economic governance. This includes macro-economic policies, the prevalence of and measures taken to curb corruption, general social protection policies and constitutional provisions, the openness of the political culture, the space available to civil society, and the progressive achievement of greater equality in society, generally. Although these may not be the main entry points in discussions with and engagements with States, it is inevitable that those concerned with children’s rights (such as the African Children’s Committee, as well as national and international partners) should concern themselves with matters of governance, on the basis that the rights of children are located within the broader context of political and economic governance, and that these underlying issues of concern have to be addressed in order to advance children’s rights.