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In an op-ed published on CNN earlier this month, actress and activist Mia Farrow said the key to Africa’s future is in the education of the children.

At a UNICEF-supported African Youth Forum in Kampala, Uganda, last month, Farrow was inspired by the attendees there. Chosen from 40 countries for their passion and leadership capabilities, the 100 young men and women were brought together to brainstorm solutions to the issues facing their countries and the African continent.

“At the close of the third day and the commencement of the African Union Summit,” wrote Farrow, “they presented their recommendations to Africa’s leaders. There is a growing chorus across Africa calling for change. And at the top of their demands is the right for every child to an education. These are the voices of Africa’s future.”

Farrow tied those demands to the Millennium Development Goals, whose lack of achievements has her concerned. Citing that 51 percent of deaths in Africa are of children under five, about 45 million African children do not attend school, and the numbers of mothers who die in childbirth is staggering, she says most African nations are not making good on their commitments much like the wealthier nations aren’t.

Despite that, she was encouraged at July’s gathering: “Courage, commitment, resilience, respect, hope, intensity, passion and keen minds defined the forum. With 62 percent of Africa’s population younger than 25, they have the greatest stake in the future. For three glorious days, the future of Africa looked very bright indeed.”

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