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C-Sema's Highlights from the Eastern African Regional Early Childhood (EA-ECD) Conference.

We were thrilled to be part of The Eastern African Regional Early Childhood Conference, a groundbreaking event that brought together over 750 participants from 60 countries worldwide. Hosted by AfECN and TECDEN in collaboration with the Government of Tanzania, UNICEF, the East African Community, and the AU CESA ECD Cluster.

The Eastern African Regional Early Childhood Conference aimed to evaluate the status of early childhood development in the region and explore innovative approaches to up-scaling quality interventions. Additionally, it facilitated discussions on future investment strategies for early childhood initiatives in Eastern Africa, fostering concrete deliberations and action-oriented planning.

Gathering policymakers, researchers, CSOs, academia, funders, practitioners, and government agencies, the EAREC conference served as a vibrant platform for sharing insights and innovative models of quality early childhood interventions.

One session that particularly captured our attention was the discussion on harnessing technology to promote Early Childhood Development (ECD). This resonated deeply with C-Sema's focus areas: parenting, child protection, and early childhood development.

During this session, REPSS and Stellenbosch University presented groundbreaking research on digital parenting interventions, utilising WhatsApp chatbots to enhance responsive caregiving, caregiver well-being, and child development. Their work, spanning across three African countries, including Tanzania, sparked inspiration for us to enhance our existing digital intervention, the #Malezi Chatbot, based on evidence-based research.

Moreover, the conference provided an invaluable opportunity for us to collaborate with REPSS partners, (the LEGO Foundation and Stellenbosch University), to support their interventions and expand the reach of the #Malezi chatbot. Discussions with local higher learning institutions, like the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), also opened doors for further innovation and collaboration in advancing early childhood development initiatives.

Participating in this conference not only reaffirmed our commitment to promoting children's welfare in Tanzania but also catalyzed strategic partnerships and opportunities for leveraging technology to enhance parenting and early childhood development interventions. Through collaboration and innovative approaches, C-Sema continues to advance its mission of safeguarding the well-being of Tanzanian children.

Prepared by C-Sema's Media Team.






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