President Mahama, has opened the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health Rights in Accra with a call on all African first ladies to support their husbands to ensure the abolition of child marriage. According to him, these girls ought to stay in schools and not in their husband’s house hence opportunities must be created to keep these girls in school.
The President also called on African First Ladies to support their husband’s in the fight to end HIV/AIDs completely. According to the President even though there is significant drop in HIV cases, a lot more needs to be done in the area of educating the public on need to keep themselves from getting HIV/AIDS.
The 3 days conference, which has brought together 12 African First Ladies and over 500 participants is on the theme: “Realising Demographic Dividend in Africa; the critical importance of adolescents and youth sexual and reproductive Health and Rights.
The conference will be discussing and working out solutions for the prevention and elimination of HIV and AIDS. The first ladies will also work out solutions on reduction of maternal and infant mortality, elimination of child and forced marriages, and reduction of teenage pregnancies across the continent.
The First Lady, Mrs. Lordina Mahama, who is the patron of the 7th ACSHR called on the leaders of African continent to invest in the health, education and general development of adolescents and youth.
This she believes is the most important strategy Africa can adopt in order to benefit from its fast growing youthful population. The First Lady made the call in her welcome address at the opening of the 7th ACSHR in Accra.
According to her African leaders must consider all groups of young people including adolescent girls, persons with disabilities, young migrants and all other marginalized groups. That way, they are highly likely to keep smaller families and provide quality support for their dependents.
For his Part, UN under Secretary General and Executive Director of UNFPA, Professor Babatunde Osotimehim, said it was time Africa moved to the next level by building human capacity. He noted that Africa must invest in areas things that will enable the youth acquire skills in order to become responsible citizens to their various countries.