The UNICEF called on governments to prioritize the opening of schools and provide children with proper education to tackle the increase of violence in almost all countries.
"We see lost learning, rising violence, rising child labor, forced child marriages, teen pregnancies, and diminished nutrition. A generation of children is at risk, and at the most critical time in our continent's history," Regional Director for UNICEF in the region Mohamed Malick Fall said.
In this sense, the UNICEF considers that "greater dangers for children lie by being outside the classroom."
Although 13 out of the 23 countries have resumed classes, the COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized the instruction of thousands of teenagers about to enter the workforce. In this sense, the UNICEF warned that the gravity of the crisis means that a generation can be lost.
"If this expanded workforce can receive quality learning at school, the potential for increased production could sustain an economic boom to drastically reduce poverty in Africa – where currently 70 percent of sub-Saharan Africa's people live on less than $2 per day," the official explained.