558 Pages
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Africa's Future, Africa's Challenge

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558 Pages


Early childhood, from birth through school entry, was largely invisible worldwide as a policy concern for much of the twentieth century. Children, in the eyes of most countries, were 'appendages' of their parents or simply embedded in the larger family structure. The child did not emerge as a separate social entity until school age (typically six or seven). 'Africa's Future, Africa's Challenge: Early Childhood Care and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa' focuses on the 130 million children south of the Sahel in this 0-6 age group.
This book, the first of its kind, presents a balanced collection of articles written by African and non-African authors ranging from field practitioners to academicians and from members of government organizations to those of nongovernmental and local organizations. 'Africa's Future, Africa's Challenge' compiles the latest data and viewpoints on the state of Sub-Saharan Africa's children. Topics covered include the rationale for investing in young children, policy trends in early childhood development (ECD), historical perspectives of ECD in Sub-Saharan Africa including indigenous approaches, new threats from HIV/AIDS, and the importance of fathers in children's lives. The book also addresses policy development and ECD implementation issues; presents the ECD programming experience in several countries, highlighting best practices and challenges; and evaluates the impact of ECD programs in a number of countries.



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Published 18 January 2008
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Human Development
Africa’s Future, Africa’s Challenge
Early Childhood Care and Development in
Sub-Saharan Africa
Marito Garcia, Alan Pence, and Judith L. Evans, Editors Africa’s Future, Africa’s ChallengeAfrica’s Future,
Africa’s Challenge
Early Childhood Care and Development
in Sub-Saharan Africa
Marito Garcia
Alan Pence
Judith L. Evans© 2008 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank
1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
Telephone: 202-473-1000
All rights reserved.
1 2 3 4 11 10 09 08
This volume is a product of the staff of the International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development / The World Bank. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this
volume do not necessarily reflect the views of the Executive Directors of The World Bank or the
governments they represent.
The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work. The boundaries,
colors, denominations, and other information shown on any map in this work do not imply any
judgement on the part of The World Bank concerning the legal status of any territory or the
endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.
Rights and Permissions
The material in this publication is copyrighted. Copying and/or transmitting portions or all of this
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For permission to photocopy or reprint any part of this work, please send a request with complete
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USA; telephone: 978-750-8400; fax: 978-750-4470; Internet:
All other queries on rights and licenses, including subsidiary rights, should be addressed to the
Office of the Publisher, The World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433, USA;
fax: 202-522-2422; e-mail:
ISBN: 978-0-8213-6886-2
eISBN: 978-0-8213-6887-9
DOI: 10.1596/978-0-8213-6886-2
Cover photographs: Left: © Bernard van Leer Foundation/Jim Holmes (2003); Edines Lyakurwa’s
children near Moshi, Tanzania, photographed during a field visit with Kiwakkuki, a women’s
organization working with rural Tanzanian communities affected by HIV/AIDS.
Right: © Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)/Jean-Luc Ray (1991); two boys in Mombasa, Kenya,
photographed sorting beans in a counting and color identification exercise.
Cover design: Naylor Design
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Africa’s future, Africa’s challenge: early childhood care and development in sub Saharan Africa /
Marito Garcia, Alan Pence & Judith Evans, editors.
p. cm.
ISBN: 978-0-8213-6886-2
1. Child care—Africa, Sub-Saharan. 2. Early childhood education—Africa, Sub-Saharan.
3. Child development—Africa,an. I. Garcia, Marito, 1951– II. Pence, Alan R., 1948– III.
Evans, Judith L.
HQ778.7.A35A37 2007
Foreword xix
Acknowledgments xxi
Contributors xxiii
Abbreviations xxvii
Introduction 1
Alan Pence, Judith L. Evans, and Marito Garcia
Children in Sub-Saharan Africa 1
Children as Social Entities 2
Children on the Agenda in Africa 3
Why This Volume? 3
Sections and Chapters 4
Notes 6
References 6
SECTION 1 Contexts 9
Chapter 1 The State of Young Children in Sub-Saharan Africa 11
Marito Garcia, Gillian Virata, and Erika Dunkelberg
vvi Contents
Indexes Indicate the Conditions of Children 14
Children in Sub-Saharan Africa Fare Worse than
Children in Most Other Regions 17
Investments in Young Children 26
Notes 27
References 27
Chapter 2 Positioning ECD Nationally: Trends in Selected
African Countries 29
Agnes Akosua Aidoo
Africa’s Young Children 30
Evolution of ECD Policy 31
ECD Links with International and Regional
Conventions and African Development Policies 32
National ECD Policies: Needs and Challenges 36
Policy Development Process 39
Conclusion and Key Actions 44
Note 48
References 48
Chapter 3 Early Childhood Care and Education in
Sub-Saharan Africa: What Would It
Take to Meet the Millennium
Development Goals? 51
Adriana Jaramillo and Alain Mingat
Can the World’s Goals for Children Be Met? 52
Arguments to Support the Extension of ECCD
Activities in Sub-Saharan Africa 60
Policy Implications for Reaching ECD Goals 66
Conclusion 69
Notes 69
References 70
Chapter 4 Brain Development and ECD: A Case for
Investment 71
Mary Eming Young and Fraser Mustard
The Economics of ECD 72Contents vii
Africa Today 73
Why ECD? 74
Brain Development and Function: The Science 74
Literacy and Health 80
Turning Around Poor Development in the
Early Years 83
Vulnerability and Cognition 84
The Benefits of ECD for Africa 85
Conclusion 87
Notes 88
References 88
Chapter 5 New Threats to Early Childhood Development:
Children Affected by HIV/AIDS 93
Jodie Fonseca, Chloe O’Gara, Linda Sussman,
and John Williamson
HIV/AIDS and Young Children: The Problem 94
The Rationale for a Response 100
Young Children Affected by HIV/AIDS:
The Way Forward 105
Notes 108
References 108
SECTION 2 Sociohistorical Contexts 115
Chapter 6 ECD in Africa: A Historical Perspective 117
Larry Prochner and Margaret Kabiru
ECD in the Colonial Era 118
Indigenous ECD in Historical Perspective 123
A Contemporary Community-Based ECD Model:
Kenya’s Harambee Preschools 126
Conclusion 130
References 130
Chapter 7 (Mis)Understanding ECD in Africa:
The Force of Local and Global Motives 135
A. Bame Nsamenangviii Contents
Whose Interests Are Addressed in ECD Programs? 136
Fundamentals of Indigenous African ECD 139
Concluding Thoughts 144
References 146
Chapter 8 Fathering: The Role of Men in Raising Children in
Africa—Holding Up the Other Half of the Sky 151
Linda M. Richter and Robert Morrell
Absent Fathers 152
Why Is It Important to Involve Men in the
Care of Young Children? 155
What Do Children Say About Fathers? 158
Men’s Care and Protection of Young Children 159
What Still Needs to Be Done? 161
References 163
SECTION 3 Policy Development 167
Chapter 9 ECD Policy: A Comparative Analysis in Ghana,
Mauritius, and Namibia 169
J. K. A. Boakye, Stella Etse, Madeez Adamu-Issah,
Medha Devi Moti, Juditha Leketo Matjila,
and Shamani-Jeffrey Shikwambi
Ghana 170
Mauritius 173
Namibia 178
Conclusion 183
References 185
Chapter 10 Participatory ECD Policy Planning in Francophone
West Africa 187
Emily Vargas-Barón
The Three-Country Project 188
Some Lessons Learned about ECD Policy
Planning in Africa 193Contents ix
Future ECD Policy Challenges 197
Note 198
References 198
SECTION 4 Programming 199
Chapter 11 Responding to the Challenge of Meeting
the Needs of Children Under 3 in Africa 201
Kofi Marfo, Linda Biersteker, Jenieri Sagnia,
and Margaret Kabiru
Key Issues: An Overview 203
Case Studies: Exemplary and Innovative
Approaches to Policy and Program Delivery 209
Summary and Concluding Comments 220
Notes 222
References 222
Chapter 12 Introducing Preprimary Classes in Africa:
Opportunities and Challenges 227
Linda Biersteker, Samuel Ngaruiya,
Edith Sebatane, and Sarah Gudyanga
South Africa 229
Kenya 232
Zimbabwe 234
Lesotho 238
Opportunities and Challenges:
What Have We Learned? 241
Conclusion 244
Notes 245
References 246
Chapter 13 Inclusive Education: A Mauritian Response to the
“Inherent Rights of the Child” 249
Gilberte Chung Kim Chung and Cyril Dalais
Inclusive Education: A Brief History 251
The Experience in Mauritius 252