The International Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organisation of African Unity or OAU. It honors those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 on that day. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.
In Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young students were shot, the most famous of whom was Hector Pieterson. More than a hundred people were killed in the protests of the following two weeks, and more than a thousand were injured.
Every year on June 16, governments, NGOs, international organizations, and other stakeholders gather to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the full realization of the rights of children in Africa.
The theme for the International Day of the African Child 2021 was “30 Years After the Adoption of the Charter: Accelerate the Implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa Fit for Children.”
In Moshi, the day was commemorated with various activities including speeches by luminaries from the local government offices such as Social Welfare, games for the children, marching with a brass band, and awards and certificates bestowed upon various NGOs.