AU Goodwill Ambassador applauds IM and Malawi
African Union Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage campaign, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda has lauded IM and Malawi Government on strides made in ending child marriage in Malawi, the region and African Union (AU) level.
The envoy spoke in Lilongwe on May 29 soon after meeting the Malawi Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Dr. Jean Kalilani. The meeting was also held on the same date when Gumbonzvanda was made the Goodwill Ambassador.
“I really needed to meet the Minister, coming to Malawi on my fourth anniversary as the African Union Good Will Ambassador. I wanted to tell the Minister, thank you for the efforts of the country and to congratulate the government of Malawi for launching the strategy on ending child marriage,” said Gumbonzvanda.
The envoy also commended President Peter Mutharika for his continued policy direction and commitment in ending child marriage. Mutharika is the global leader for HeForShe, a United Nations solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality.“Malawi and President Mutharika have been very strong champions on the issue of child marriage in the region and globally,” she added.
In addition to meeting the Minister, the Goodwill Ambassador also had discussions with a Swedish organisation called IM Swedish Development Partner, one of the cooperating partners financially supporting local organisations projects in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia in ending child marriage.
“I find the approach taken by IM Swedish to be respectful of partner relationship … it’s the philosophy of bringing voices of the communities to be part of the policy making processes as well as to carry out certain activities together with the organisation,” added Gumbonzvanda.
Meeting UN Women
The envoy is also a member of an IM Swedish Development Partner led Southern Africa Advisory Committee on Ending Child marriage comprising partners from Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
During the visit to Malawi, the envoys also met the UN Women resident representative Clara Anyangwe where they discussed on need for cooperating partners and implementers to collaborate in ending child marriage. Almost 40 in every hundred girls in Southern Africa experienced child marriage.