Malawi’s President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika on Monday called on his fellow leaders to invest in the education of young people as a means to break the circle of poverty in Africa.
President Mutharika made the call at Labouisse Hall, UNICEF House in New York, during a side event entitled Accelerating efforts to eliminate child marriages in Africa by 2030.”
“Investing in the human capital is one of the surest means of breaking the poverty cycle. In short, we are talking about investing in the education of young people,” Mutharika said.
However, Mutharika reminded the leadership in Africa that investing in education is not enough, if young people are not protected from other forces that threaten their education.
President Mutharika cited early and child marriages as one of the major challenges threatening the future of young people.
“Early marriage is a barrier to girls’ education in Africa. All over the continent, early marriages shatter dreams of mothers and fathers in every community.
“Unless we protect and prepare our young people against child and early marriage, the resources we invest in education, will always be like rain that falls on fields that cannot bear fruits,” he said.
President Mutharika said Malawi is implementing a number of legal frameworks in arresting the problem of child marriages.
The Gender Equality Act (2013); Child Care, Protection and Justice Act (2010) Trafficking in Persons Act (2015), and the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act (2015), are some of the blueprints the Malawi Government is using to eliminate child marriages.
But the amendment and harmonization of provisions in the Constitution on Child Age and Marriage Age to 18 years, has billed as a game changer in Malawi’s efforts to end child marriage.
Since 2015, the prevalence of child marriages in the country, has declined from 52 per cent to 46 percent in 2016, President Mutharika informed the delegates.
Meanwhile in a related development, the President is expected to deliver the Malawi statement in the afternoon, today at the UN General Assembly, UNGA. US President Donald Trump, as leader of the host country, delivers his statement this morning.