One of the fundamental responsibilities of a government is to provide better standards of living for its members or citizens. Presently, the dispensation of democracy in Africa has become so privatized that high quality education is being provided by private businessmen for huge fees. Not only has this affected many parents who are unable to cater for their wards to get educated, but the lives of many African youths face uncertainty.

In the streets of Africa, many of these underprivileged children have dropped out of school and turned to hustling in the hope of making a living from this unworthy and futureless pursuit.

Driving in the streets of Accra, I saw a group of Children between the ages of 9 to 13 under a traffic light begging people to give them money after washing their car windscreens. Most of them you could see have faces telling the sad stories of their lives. These children only smiled or became happy when somebody talked to them or gave them a gift and this tells that they really need someone to care for them. These boys are very brilliant boys left to be wasted on the street even though they could be of much benefit one day.

In Niger, Sudan and elsewhere, parents travel to other neighboring parts to seek and beg for money and a good life. Most of them use children under ten years in order to gain sympathy from the givers. Is this not another form of child abuse or child labor?

In Nigeria and some other countries in Africa it is even worse, young boys are recruited into serious gangs such as Boko Haram and Al shabab to fight for an inglorious cause. These powers that seems to be fighting corruption but have no vision of Africa’s future are now taking over terrorism in Africa, killing as many people as they can. Boko Haram has a record of killing 5000 people and counting; only God knows what they are up to next. These street children are very vulnerable and can be forced to join armed robbery gangs for operations. The more children there are on the street in Africa, the more  crime and corruption will grow.

Another danger that these children may be exposed to is the use and abuse of hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. It will be better to educate and prevent these little children from becoming addicted now, then pointing fingers later and rejecting them when they are already addicts.

In a situation like this, the questions that we may wish to ask are; who really cares? Who should be responsible for these children? What do these children have to offer for the nation in the future.

The leaders of some countries in Africa have turned a deaf ear to these matters and are pursuing selfish interests which have no use for the nation and its citizens, but only benefit their families and business partners. Many of the African economies are becoming politically unstable with continuous wars and other problems like increased inflation, decreases in the exchange rate and fluctuating petroleum prices. With all these factors and many other problems to solve, most of these leaders do not even pay attention to human resources, forgetting it to be the factor behind real growth which is needed for our economies.

Many non-government organisations (NGOs) are helping to deal with this situation by opening orphanages to take care of these children despite the lack of support from government or private organizations.

I will urge any organization ready to assist these children not to hesitate in doing so. Also, individuals should get closer and listen to the stories of these little brothers and sisters who are in need of a helping hand. These children need the love and care from society as a whole.


DISCLAIMER: The articles on our website are not endorsed by, or the opinions of Shout Out UK (SOUK), but exclusively the views of the author.