The First Lady made the appeal during the commemoration of the 2017 International Youth Day held at Manica ground in Balaka.
Dr. Mutharika highlighted the danger Malawi will be in if appropriate measures won’t be taken to control the country’s population growth.
“In 1966 the country had a population of 4 million people but by today we are over 17 million people, which show how we have failed to manage our population.” She said if the youth does not take part in managing the country’s population by 2030 Malawi is expected to have a population of 26 million which is very alarming considering the land and natural resources are static.
“I urge you all young people to pursue education and run away from early marriages that contribute to the rapid population growth. At 14 years marriage is not something to consider or even think about, you find girls at the age of 18 already have two or three children. We must change,” said the First Lady.
In his remarks, Mission Director to Malawi (USAID) Mr. Littleton Tazewell said the United States stands to continue its cooperation with the government of Malawi.
“The US stands ready to support Malawi in voluntary family planning and reproductive health services, building more classrooms to better education and also to help adolescent girls and young women avoid child marriages.
I plead with all you young people to stay in school, protect yourself by not getting married before you are ready and protect yourself by using modern contraception,” said Tazewell.
During the event various youth driven organisations showcased their current projects to the First Lady.
A few musicians, band groups and traditional dances coupled with some poetry spiced up the event.