By Tonny Akankwatsa
Our very own multi award winning artiste Edirisa Musuuza Kenzo alias Eddie Kenzo as usual has kept the ‘Pearl of Africa’s pride levelled by raising the Ugandan flag high.
Yesterday, June 16, Eddy Kenzo represented Uganda during the African Summit on Genital Mutilation and Child marriages in the Senegal’s capital, Dakar.
By invitation from the first Lady of Senegal, it was a great honor towards the Big Talent music group CEO to be part of the 1st African Summit on Female Genital Mutilations and child marriages.
The “Sitya loss” singer seemingly had an opportunity to rub shoulders, share ideas and discuss business with Senegal’s elite dignitaries including the president UN Women, the First Lady of Senegal and honorable ministers of Senegal and Guinea among others.
“Thank you Dakar senegal
President of #UNWOMEN
Vice president of the Gambia
Vice president of Senegal
First Lady of senegal. And honorable ministers of senegal and Guinea. It is such a great honor to be part of the 1st African Sumit on Female Genital Mutilations and child marriages.
Let’s make Africa a better place” noted Eddy Kenzo.
About the Summit
The Governments of Senegal and The Gambia, in partnership with the NGO Safe Hands For Girls, organized and convened for the first African Summit on Female Genital Mutilations (FGM) and Child Marriage (CM) in Dakar at the King Fahd Palace.
The summit involved the participation of high-level dignitaries from 17 African countries including heads of State and Governments, representatives of continental institutions, United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, experts, as well as survivors, youth, opinion leaders, religious and traditional leaders.
Over five hundred participants are embraced the Summit themed “Reinforcing the bridge between Africa and the rest of the world to promote an accelerated implementation of a zero tolerance policy on FGMs and CMs, a major focus of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
According to the Minister for Women, Family, Gender and Child Protection of host-country Senegal, Ndèye SalyDiop Dieng, this summit was, “for Senegal, The Gambia and Africa in general, an opportunity to set in motion a continental momentum of coordinated and effective action to end female genital mutilations and child marriages.”
Ms. Jaha Dukureh, Executive director of Safe Hands For Girls, stated that the overall objective of the meeting is to “translate into action the commitment of governments, religious leaders, traditional leaders, survivors, CBOs, the media, civil society organizations including youth and women who are working to end FGM and CM in Africa by 2030.”
“That is the reason why we want this meeting to be an opportunity to share and build on the experiences and good practices noted in each country, to encourage States to create a legal framework conducive to the elimination of FGM and CM by 2030, and also to develop innovative strategies for the elimination of these harmful practices through coordination and monitoring and evaluation mechanism. This will be done in partnership with the Governments of Senegal and The Gambia, as well as the Al-Azhar Al-Sharif Institute in Egypt, the World Bank, UN Women, UNFPA and African regional organisations,” Ms Dukureh pointed out.
Every year, more than 12 million girls are forcefully married before the age of 18. These girls then have their right to childhood and education stolen, and their future prospects and advancement limited. In Plan International’s 2016 report entitled “Causes and Consequences of Early and Forced Marriage”, it is stated that forced and early marriages keep girls in conditions of poverty and powerlessness, from generation to generation.
UNICEF’s 2016 report on “The State of the World’s Children” indicates that 39% of girls in Africa are married before their 18th birthday and 13% before their 15th birthday. The statistics can be alarming, but some countries on the continent are able to curb the phenomenon, either in rural or urban areas, or in both at the same time. At least 12 countries have reduced the incidence of child marriage by 10% or more