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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Presidents of Zambia, Malawi and Uganda Zambia call for accelerated action to end child marriage in Africa

General News Presidents of Zambia, Malawi and Uganda Zambia call for accelerated action to...

Presidents Mutharika (Malawi) and Edgar Lungu (Zambia) join anti-child marriage campaigners at an event.
Presidents Mutharika (Malawi) and Edgar Lungu (Zambia) join anti-child marriage campaigners at an event.

On the margins of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, the governments of Zambia and Canada, with support from UN Women, UNICEF, UNFPA and the African Union Commission, hosted a high-level side event for global leaders to renew their commitments and accelerate efforts to end child marriage in Africa by 2030.

“Girls who marry young are often denied their rights,” said President of Zambia Edgar Lungu.

“Ending child marriage by 2030 will require a range of action, including making sure girls have access to quality education, legal reforms and changing traditional harmful practices.”

The 18 September event, attended by President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu; President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni; and President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika, and a host of senior officials, provided an opportunity to renew existing partnerships to end child marriage in the build up to the second African Girls’ Summit on Ending Child Marriage in Africa.

“We cannot harvest the best potential unless we stop early marriage,” said President Mutharika of Malawi. “Every child must be given empowerment and wings of hope to fly very high. We must invest more in our young people.”

President Museveni of Uganda emphasized the importance of education for girls and skills training to boost women’s economic empowerment and financial independence: “If they can get out of dependence on parents or husbands, then girls can have free choice.”

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka moderated the interactive dialogue and expressed her appreciation for the support of the leaders. Emphasizing the importance of continued work on the critical issue of ending child and forced marriages, she said: “It is about acceleration. Accelerating action to 2030, so by that time we have eradicated this harmful practice,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka. “If we don’t empower girls, there is no hope for anyone else.”

Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday.

In West and Central Africa, where child marriage is most common, more than four in 10 girls were married before age 18.

Although child marriage is slowly declining worldwide, if current trends continue, due to population growth, the total number of child brides will remain around 750 million in 2030.

A third of them will be African. Ending child, early and forced marriages is now a specific target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 5).

Meanwhile, African leaders are busily honouring engagements ahead of today’s formal opening of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the body’s headquarters in New York.

Majority of them are holding meetings on the sidelines of the UNGA, others are taking advantage to hold bilateral and multilateral meetings.

Instituted since 1946, the U.N. General Assembly is the biggest annual gathering of world leaders as the body put it, ‘to tackle humanity’s greatest challenges. 193 countries will have their leaders or representatives giving addresses.

It is the first UNGA for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who took over last year from Ban Ki-Moon.

Ki-moon stepped down after serving two five-year terms.

The Summit takes place between Tuesday September 19 till Monday September 25. The theme for this year’s session is: “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for all on a Sustainable Planet”.

Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari on arrival in New York, he is billed to be the 8th speaker today.
Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari on arrival in New York, he is billed to be the 8th speaker today.

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma at the African Heads of State and Government Meeting on Climate Change.
South Africa’s Jacob Zuma at the African Heads of State and Government Meeting on Climate Change.

Guinean President-A.U. Chairperson Alpha Conde and Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, at a meeting in New York.
Guinean President-A.U. Chairperson Alpha Conde and Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, at a meeting in New York.

Ghana’s Akufo-Addo delivers a lecture at the Colombia university.
Ghana’s Akufo-Addo delivers a lecture at the Colombia university.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Never mind child marriages, we want to see “an accelerated action to end incompetence, corruption and dictatorships” in Malawi, Uganda and Zambia.

    • I liked USA president’s speech, I think he called Trump. He said “…some nations will go to hell”.
      I thought, wow Zambia is one of them.

  2. AS LONG AS OUR LEADERS TAKE PART IN THE SWAZI REED DANCE CEREMONY WHERE MUSWATI PICKS A YOUNG BRIDE THEN I THINK IT IS HYPOCRACY TO SAY THEY WILL STOP EARLY CHILD MARRIAGES.

  3. When will the three presidents call for an end to abuse of power ,undemocratic practices and respecting term limits? Duh,in Africa we’re married to bad governance mwaiche.

  4. The hypocrisy and moral bankrupsy of lungu is mind boggling , after watching semi naked girls in swaziland ati end child marriages ?

  5. This is coming from a president who pardons General Kanene and on top of that makes him an ambassador of gender based violence. Something is wrong with this president. Too much Jameson.

Comments are closed.

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