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Nwankwo Kanu, others, join CAF and UNICEF to promote education for all children during 2008 African Cup of Nations

KanuCAF CAN 2008
© UNICEF Nigeria

“Football I love, but it’s education that makes a real difference in kids’ future.”

Abuja, 17 January 2008 - Nwankwo Kanu, the captain of the Super Eagles,  and some other Africa’s top football players have come together to help UNICEF raise money for children across Africa to receive a quality education during the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.

In a Public Service Announcement, Nwankwo Kanu reveals the importance of education to him personally and urge the public to support UNICEF by donating N 150 (one hundred and fifty Naira) through SMS by texting to the MTN number 1388 or on the UNICEF website,

“Children want to go to school, but their parents are poor and they cannot afford to pay for it, says Nwankwo Kanu. This has to be rectified to make sure that all children can be in school because education is very important. No matter what you do, you will need education. The more we start to educate our children from their youth days, the better for all of us. This is one thing my father did; he fought tooth and nail to make sure that all of us go to school because he knows how this will be crucial for our life. Even if I am playing football, there is time for everything and education should be the first priority.’
Players such as Samuel Eto’o, Stephen Apphia, Saloman Kalou, Aaron Mokoena and Oumar Tchomogo are also part of the campaign and have recorded similar messages for their respective country.

UNICEF and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have joined together to promote a child’s right to a quality education. The campaign will be featured during the 2008 MTN African Cup of Nations on billboards and in televised coverage of matches.

Commenting on the partnership Mr. Issa Hayatou, President of CAF said: “We know that across Africa and the world people will be watching the 16 teams competing. It is my belief that we as CAF should do something for the children of Africa. We have chosen to work with UNICEF to raise funds for school books, chalk boards and teacher training. I appeal to football fans everywhere to do their bit and support this appeal.”

‘We appreciate this initiative, because we know that UNICEF is doing a very good job on the ground to help our children, said Mallam Abubakar Jijiwa, Chairman of the Broadcasting organization of Nigeria. We would like to encourage all stations to support this campaign and to give a chance to all citizens to contribute in their own way.’

In Nigeria, approximately 10 million school age children (primary and secondary) are out of school. Of these 10 million children out of school, 4.7 million are of primary school age, while 5.3 million are of secondary school age. 62 % of children out of school are girls.

Every Nigerian citizen will be able to partner in this effort by texting ‘KIDS’ to 1388 from an MTN number and thus donating N 150 (one hundred and fifty naira) for education of children in Nigeria. All the funds raised in Nigeria will be used in Nigeria for the education programme under the joint programme of cooperation between UNICEF and the Federal Government of Nigeria. They will be used towards providing learning and teaching materials for primary schools across Nigeria, supporting teacher training activities, improving on and producing curriculum materials for kindergarten and early primary school children.

‘The purpose of this specific campaign is to help achieve the second Millennium Development Goal of ensuring that by 2015, all children, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling”, said Robert Limlim, UNICEF Nigeria Deputy Representative. I believe that there is no better investment we can do today than investing in the future of our children by supporting quality education for all.”
UNICEF work with governments all over Africa to improve the quality of schools, promoting the concept of ‘child-friendly schools’ and taking a lead role in championing girls’ education. In Nigeria UNICEF give direct support to over 900 schools in Nigeria, equipping them with water and sanitation facilities, providing textbooks and teaching manuals, benches and desks, school, bags, as well as other education and recreational materials. UNCIEF also support the Government in building the capacity of teachers and promotes an enabling policy environment for equal access to school for all children.

For media enquiries, please contact:

  • Geoffrey Njoku, communication officer, UNICEF,
    Tel: 0803 52 50 288.            E-mail:


Join the campaign and help UNICEF score goals for Nigerian Children

Donate on line on
or text ‘KIDS’ with an MTN number to 1388.



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