Ending child marriages key to prosperity— African Union


African Union (AU) Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage,

Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda, has said there is need to eliminate child marriages if Africa is to prosper.

“Child marriage is a sexual exploitation. Countries in Africa need to urgently find ways of totally eliminating this crime,” she said.


Gumbonzvanda—who is also Action Aid International Board Chairperson—said this on Friday at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe during a panel discussion on child marriages. Action Aid International organised the discussion.

She then commended Malawi for its efforts in ending child marriages through ways such as passing laws on marriage age, involving traditional leaders to fight it and intensifying role modelling of girls to complete their education.

Speaking at the same function, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Jean Kalirani, said despite the progress in reducing child marriages, there was a challenge of supporting, with basic needs, girls who have been re-admitted into schools and those rescued from marriages.


She observed that most girls who are rescued out from early marriages lack support to keep them in schools.

“Due to lack of material and financial support, these girls abandon school and go back to their marriages where they think they will find their needs,” she said.

To address such challenges, she said the government was partnering with stakeholders to mobilise support for the girls in schools.

Action Aid Malawi Executive Director, Grace Malera, said they would partner with all organisations that are helping to rescue girls from forced marriages in order to eliminate the malpractice.

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