AfDB in Solidarity with the Nigerian community on the case of the Chibok girls

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“To be educated means… I will not only be able to help myself, but also my family, my country, my people. The benefits will be many.” – Meda Wagtole, schoolgirl, Ethiopia

In solidarity with the Nigerian community, the African Development Bank (AfDB) would like to express its concern about the 276 girls from Chibok in Borno State, Northeastern Nigeria. The girls, whose fate remains unclear, were abducted in the morning of Monday, April 14, 2014 as they studied and prepared for their final exams. This is an important story, and a wrenching human drama.

Access to education is a basic right, and an unconscionable reason to target innocent girls. Schools should be safe places where Africa’s young – both girls and boys – are allowed to lay the foundations of a better future for themselves, their families, communities and states.

Education in Nigeria is a promise and a hope for a prosperous future. In recent years, efforts have been put in place to implement free Universal Basic Education (UBE), to strive for female literacy, and to extend basic education opportunities to all children in the country.

Girls often plead with their families to go to school and have education. Courageous mothers fight for their girls to attend school. Government and development institutions support various measures to attract girls to attend school.

The AfDB shares its concern with Nigeria, and especially with the families of the abducted girls. We view what has happened there as an outrage and a terrible tragedy. We stand with the families in the hope that all the girls are brought home safely. We support the Federal Government of Nigeria and all its partners who are trying to do everything possible to safeguard the lives of these girls. We are unshakeable in our belief in the education and emancipation of young women everywhere.