The Africa youth summit was held on the 23rd-24th of November 2018 in Accra, Ghana. The meeting was a success given that the main agenda of eradicating child marriage in Africa and the promotion of an in depth coursework of sexuality education in all institutions was intensively discussed and contemplated, the theme “enough with the silence” fuelled a number of great responses and solutions that will be of great benefit to the victims of the atrocious cruelties.
The main objectives of the summit were met as media fraternity was on board and the first ladies of various countries and government persons were well represented, stakeholders from all over the world such as world bank, Africa union
communication, Girls not brides, Forum for African Women Educationalists, different governments, plan international, world
vision, international planned parenthood federation, Rozaria memorial trust, Traditional leaders, religious leaders and human rights watch also graced the occasion. The summit focused on actively working with various stakeholders by promoting quality education and using it as a tool to eradicate child marriage and also by use of SRHR accessibility as a way towards the realization of the agenda 2063 and the achievements of the SDG’S.
The first lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo said “Challenges that come as a result of child marriages were big step backs for societal growth and so there is need for all the young girls to embrace selfs, use their voices, their intellect and deliberate actions to manifest the change that was needed” According to statistics done by WHO, over 200 million girls and women have undergone FGM worldwide. 70 million of them are between the ages of 0-14 years and most are under the age of 5 years old. 76 million young girls and women in 3 countries in Africa alone have undergone FGM, 27 million of them are in Egypt, 23 million in Ethiopia and 26 million in Nigeria.
During the summit, child marriage was framed as a violation of human rights as part of the gender inequality. It was therefore highly linked to poverty, illiteracy, traditions, religion and culture. Although we live in a modern society, people still seem to listen to their traditional leaders, so it is important to get the traditional leaders on board and teach them the risks of child marriage and importance of education. Access to quality education increases more chances and level of information and knowledge thus the young person is equipped with knowledge on HIV AIDS, SRHR, nutrition and therefore making them less vulnerable as they are able to make better choices in life. The summit also provided a platform for the youth to share experiences, best practices, challenges, recommendation, plans and strategies.