Accra would host the African Union (AU) Department of Social Affairs’ three-day regional capacity building workshop on increased advocacy to ending child marriage through media engagement from Monday, February 27 to Wednesday, March 1.
The workshop participants drawn from West and Central Africa would be from Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon and the Gambia. The rest are Guinea- Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
A statement signed by Dr Olawale Maiyegun, AU Director of Social Affairs, and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the major objective of the workshop was to enhance the capacity of the media to better investigate and report on child marriage in Africa with a focus on addressing the root causes and the different facets of the issue and challenging all stakeholders towards ending the practice.
It said the workshop would link the role of the media as key information transmitters in delivering the key tenets of the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa, AU’s Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals.
It said the workshop, which targets representatives of major media outfits in Africa focused on reporting on developmental issues and a variety of issues around social behavioural change.
It said the target group would include key media practitioners with presence on both traditional and new media platforms.
It noted that national based communication and advocacy officers from UN Agencies, international non-governmental organisations, and civil society organisations would also be part taking in the workshop.
“Child marriage is a human rights violation and has been included in a number of legal instruments at the continental and international levels,” it said.
The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) defines a child as a person under the age of 18 years and the African Youth Charter defines a minor as a person below the age of 17.