According to UNICEF, population growth, recurring crises, extreme poverty and inadequate social protection measures have led to an additional 17 million girls and boys engaging in child labor in sub-Saharan Africa over the past four years.
African countries are home to most of the world's 160 million working children. The International Labor Organization estimates that more than 72 million children in sub-Saharan Africa — nearly one in five — are affected by child labor. This marks the first time in 20 years that progress toward ending child labor has stalled.
According to the International Labor Organization, 43% of Nigerian children aged between 5 and 11 are child laborers, although international conventions prohibit this.
Economic hardship has forced many children to toil in the gold mines of Tanzania and neighboring Congo. Others in countries such as South Sudan endanger their lives as child soldiers. The International Labor Organization estimates that 2.1 million children work in cocoa production in Ivory Coast and Ghana. Around two-thirds of the cocoa produced worldwide comes from Africa. On the streets of Maiduguri in Nigeria's Borno State, many children work at the request of their parents.