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UNICEF and Confederation of African Football promote education at African Cup of Nations

ACCRA, 19 October 2007 – UNICEF and the Confederation of African Football will use the power of football during the upcoming African Cup of Nations (CAN 2008) to promote the importance of education for all children in Africa. The partnership was announced in Accra where the draw for the competition took place on 19 October 2007.

In Africa, nearly 40 million children of primary school age are not enrolled in school, the majority of them are girls.

UNICEF works with many football players around the world, such as UNICEF Ambassadors Marcel Desailly and Nwankwo Kanu, to reach out to their fans worldwide and raise awareness to issues affecting children.

Now Stephen Appiah has joined the campaign to send all children in Africa to school. “I would not be a professional footballer today if I had not gone to school,” said the captain of the Ghanaian national team. “Education was my introduction to so many opportunities.”

“We are excited to work with CAF and some of the world’s best soccer players for the benefit of children in Africa,” said Per Stenbeck UNICEF International Fundraising Director. “It is a unique opportunity to engage football fans across Africa.”

Before and during the CAN 2008 tournament, UNICEF will work with CAN official sponsors to build awareness, promote key messages and raise funds for education. Every country participating in CAN will benefit from a share of the money raised by UNICEF for relevant work in education. This will include upgrading school facilities, improving teaching standards, and ensuring that more children attend and stay in school.

“In the build-up to the World Cup in South Africa 2010, we look forward to laying the foundation for a lasting relationship between UNICEF and football in Africa,” said Yasmin Ali-Haque, UNICEF Representative in Ghana.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:
Tamar Schrofer, Head Advocacy and Monitoring, UNICEF Ghana, tschrofer@unicef.org    tel: +233 21 772524, +233 244329763

Chantal Lorho, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Dakar, Senegal  clorho@unicef.org  tel: +221 774505816




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