Former President John Mahama has said child marriage is a backward and unacceptable practice in the 21st century.
“The practice of taking young girls out of school midstream and marrying them off mostly to men far older than them must stop…One of the most backward and unacceptable practice is child marriage. This must be a cause that we take up with passion.”
The former president made the remark when he gave the keynote address at the Women in Agriculture Summit in Morocco on Tuesday.
John Mahama further urged parents to desist from such practice and allow girls to spend more time in school.
“Girls must not only be made to go to school, but must also stay in school for as far as their capacity for academic pursuit can take them,” he added.
Touching on agriculture, Mr. Mahama called for the empowerment of women saying it is not a privilege “it is a right.”
He noted that Africa possesses about 600 million hectares of uncultivated arable land, amounting to “about 60% of the world total.”
Mr. Mahama said the available arable land means that “Africa has the potential to, not only feed itself, but feed the rest of the world” if better efforts are put into it.
The former president said in order to achieve this, “not only women, but also the youth must be attracted to invest and participate in agricultural production.”
Child marriage increases by 42% in Northern Ghana
A recent research shows that child marriage increased by 42% in Northern Ghana. This situation, analysts have said is above the national average of 24%.