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The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of early childhood development and to understand the reasons behind the differential performance of African countries on early childhood wellbeing. The paper begins with a discussion of the serious consequences of early childhood
deprivation. It proposes a set of indicators to measure early childhood wellbeing. Countries are ranked according to their performance on early childhood wellbeing index (ECWI). The paper then examines a range of factors to explain differential performance across countries. The concluding section highlights
the principal findings of the paper and points to implications for policy.