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Zambia, Kenya keen to replicate early ECD program under implementation in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, May 13, 2024 (FBC) – Zambia and Kenya are keen to replicate the Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs being implemented in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.

Mayors and ministers from various African cities and countries as well as representatives of development partners have visited Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs being implemented in different parts of Addis Ababa today.

The visit accompanied by Mayor of Addis Ababa Adanech Abiebie, Health Minister, Mekdes Daba and other high ranking government officials as well as development partners and donors.

The Addis Ababa Early Childhood Development Initiative is an evidence-based, comprehensive, integrated, multisector early childhood development effort with the goal of making Addis Ababa the best city in Africa for raising children.

Mayor of Lusaka, Zambia, Chilando Chitangala said the thing we have seen is very inspiring as the growth of any country depends on their children as they are the future of a nation.

She said that Addis Ababa is actually leading in Early Childhood Development in this part of Africa; she said, expressing her desire to replicate the experience of Addis in her city and the country as a whole.

“What we saw today is very inspiring because the children of Addis Ababa are enjoying and growing up, the way the child must grow up. We all know that the first 1000 days of a child is very important for their healthy development. We have seen how much the mayor of Addis Ababa has invested with the government on these children.”

The program enabled us to see how good parenting contributes to the wellbeing of the child, she said, adding that “I am very happy that I was part of the leadership exchange program where we saw the children so happily playing on the street and I would definitely replicate that in my city.”

Minister in Charge of Health in Nairobi, Suzanne Silantoi said it is very impressive what Ethiopia has been able to do in terms of early childhood development.

The main approach across Africa has always been through educations, and the critical stages actually between zero to two years old, she said, adding that there is a lot of interventions in Africa in terms of healthcare to make sure that pregnant mothers getting the right care and making sure that the infants breast feed and immunized.

She expressed her admiration of the program in Addis Ababa as it is being implemented in a way that fit within the existing culture and context.

Silantoi also commended the commitment of the City Mayor for putting in enough finance for the implementation of the program.

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen gave an explanation regarding the implementation of Sekota Declaration during his leadership that aims to eradicate the problem of stunting.

Since then the prevalence of stunting among children are showing significant progress despite many more activities are remaining.

In this regard, he urged African brothers to work together to bring about change in preventing stunting from the continent.

Mayor of Addis Ababa City, Adanech Abiebie on her part said that there are favorable conditions for children in the city to get full early childhood care, ENA reports. She mentioned that the city administration has been providing meals to students per day and working to improve the livelihood of children and continue to invest to build coming generation.

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