The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has pleaded with men to stop marrying underage girls, that they should marry women that suit their ages.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said that in many African countries, child marriage was one of the serious gender-based violence done to girls.
While speaking at a meeting of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) in New York, Dr. Adesina said:
“Marry your own age mates and leave our girls alone.”
In his words, the underage marriage has resulted to vicious cycle of poverty and dependence for millions of girls and women on the African continent.
The President of AfDB also buttressed that girls should be allowed to go to school and complete their education instead of getting married as education is the antidote to child marriage.
He commended African First Ladies for ensuring that the value chain of girls and women empowerment came into fruition. He was, however, of the view that this value chain was being distracted by men through early marriage, gender-based violence and the lack of economic empowerment for women.