HH to work with AU leaders to end early marriages in Africa

ZAMBIA will continue to advocate and put in place measures for the protection of a girl child to end child marriages in the region once and for all, President Hakainde Hichilema has said.

President Hichilema says he will in his capacity as African Union ( AU )  Champion on Ending Child marriage, collaborate with member states of the African Union to ensure that the matter is eradicated.

He was speaking in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia during his presentation at the 35th AU Assembly of the Heads of State and Government.

President Hichilema said in addressing the root causes of child marriage in communities, traditional leaders were identified as the main stakeholders and Zambia has been consistent with its engagement with them at the grassroots level.

The President noted that the good will ambassador and a special rapporteur on ending child marriage were appointed to facilitate the important work on the campaign against child marriage.

He added that both the good will ambassador and the special rapporteur have continued to thoroughly engage with the focal point institutions in member states on issues relating to the campaign.

And President Hichilema observed that three successful sessions on the African girl summit on ending harmful practices in Africa have been held to date with Zambia hosting the first session in 2016 while Ghana and Niger hosted the second and third sessions respectively. The President indicated that Zambia also hosted a virtual high level side event during the 65th session of the United Nations Commission on the status of women entitled: ‘We hear you’.

He explained that in taking a step further, a road map has also being put in place to re-assure the implementation of the commitments by member states to achieve the goals of the campaign.

Meanwhile, President Hakainde Hichilema has stated that it is important for the Zambian business sector to work with their Somalia counterparts in enhancing trade for the benefit of both countries.

The President says by so doing, cooperation will be promoted from people to people, businesses to businesses, government to government and consequently the world at large.

President has further noted that the cooperation for the people in the two countries is important also for promoting bilateral relations between the two countries.

Mr Hichilema met his Somalia counterpart, Mohamed Farmajo on the sidelines on the AU summit. – ZANIS

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