President Edgar Lungu addresses the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit Opening ceremony at the United Nations in New York on Monday, 24th September 2018 / Pictures by Eddie Mwanaleza/Statehouse
President Edgar Lungu addresses the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit Opening ceremony at the United Nations in New York on Monday, 24th September 2018 / Pictures by Eddie Mwanaleza/Statehouse

President Edgar Lungu has advised the United Nations that unless efforts to accelerate action to end the scourge of Child Marriage, about 150 million girls risks being forced into early marriage by the year 2030 across the globe.

President Lungu has told the United Nations that the alarming rates of child marriage combined with a rapidly growing population is likely to have devastating consequences on people, especially young girls.

The President has however stated that recent statistic by UNICEF are pointing to the fact that Sub Saharan Africa has been recording the highest prevalence of child marriage while only a modest decline has been recorded over the past decade.

He said addressing child marriage in Africa would not only change the millions of the girls but would also provide nations with a window of opportunity for harnessing Africa’s demographic dividend through investment in young people.

The President said this when he chaired a High Level event on Ending Child Early and Forced Marriage under the theme: “Accelerating Action to Eliminate Child Marriage,” and was jointly hosted by Zambia and Canada.

The Head of State commended the African Union Commission (AU), UNICEEF, UNFPA and UN Women for their continued support to efforts to end child marriage by the year 2030.

He sad over half the girls who are child brides belong to the poorest households and most disadvantaged families in the world.

“Globally, close to 1 in 3 of the recently married brides are in the Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 25 years ago when the proportion was 1 in 7 of the girl child were married off. For Zambia, an estimated 31 percent of women aged between 20 and 24 are married by the age of 18. While efforts to end this practice are beginning to bear fruit in some regions, the rate of progress in other regions particularly in Africa has been remarkably slow. Unless we do more and accelerate action to end child marriage, another 150 million girls will be married off by the year 2030,” His Excellency President Lungu said.

President Lungu stated that having been designated by the African leadership to champion efforts to end child marriage in Africa, he was pleased to inform the United Nations that Africa’s wide campaign against child marriage coupled with legislative and policy reforms was beginning to yield positive results.

He informed the UN that in 2016, Zambia launched the Ending Child Marriage Strategy aimed at strengthening responses of all stakeholders in addressing the vulnerabilities and consequences of Child Marriage.

“My government recognises that education of the girl child is critical to fighting child marriage. It also has the potential to reduce teenage pregnancies. In order to increase girls’ access to education, Zambia with the support from the World Bank has since 2016 been implementing the Girls Education and women Empowerment and women’s Empowerment and Livelihood (JEWEL) Project,” President Lungu said.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Has Lungu not seen the many underage Zambian girls being impregnated or married off right across Zambia under his watch?

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  2. You can only give such a speech when your country is a model on how to curb such vice. In Zambia, a girl can be stripped naked by PF cadres in the face of the vice president and nothing would be done about it. Yet our president goes to champion girl-rights at the UN. Shame.

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  3. Why doesn’t he talk about the millions of pounds he has stolen. How can we save the girl child when you and your cronies are misappropriating funds meant for them ? Useless imbecile

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  4. So you wanted permanent UN seat for such stories honestly. These are stories from bars and markets and tarvens

    This is really worrying.

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  5. Mmd created poverty through privatization. And pf has escalated poverty especially with a visionless president.

    This PF is now chasing vendors on streets like rats yet they PF are architects of poverty. People have to eat. ECL-MUST-GO-

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  6. A paraphrase to this is that he thanked the UN agencies and the AU for coming to do the internal works of African countries’ social security departments. Isn’t this utterly embarrassing? Isn’t this small wonder a Post Office and a Ministry in charge of the welfare of citizens was given marching orders!? I just – aghh!!! Disgusting!

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  7. Yaya, this chap is a real loser, nothing to say after all that tax payers money he wasted on hiring that plane. No wonder we call him Jonathan Kamwendo, we kala mumakumbi

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  8. Do we need the world to fight that for us your excellency? that is an issue you as the head of state can put in a serious charge and stiff punishment here yourself. Zambia has serious issues that need sorting out not domestic affairs. Where is social welfare working on this issue. Rather mr President come back home and give us answers on the political violence, the corruption, the pilfering donar money going missing etc. The airforce commander was fired by you, so can you tell us the findings and the results. There is the FIC report that has died a natural death. Sir you owe it to us Zambians to address the nation on these issues and we want to see results. after all we are the tax payers and want an account of our monies.

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