Namibia's Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Rosalia Nghidinwa, has called for an end to child marriage and teenage pregnancies in Africa.
Speaking during the commemoration of the Day of the African Child here Monday, she said early marriages denied education opportunities for girls, leading to poverty and economic insecurity.
Nghidinwa said early marriage also reinforced gender-based violence (GBV) and other social problems.
She noted that the majority of "child wives" had never gone to school or left school before completion of a full course of primary education, making them entirely dependent on their husbands in practical aspects of everyday life.
"This exposes the mother and her children to psychological and other social problems. It is a violation of your human right, compromises your development and in the end, you will end up poorer than you were before that union you find yourself in," she stated.
The minister urged all Namibian children to refrain from sexual activity and to focus on their future in order to contribute to the development of the country.
On June 16 every year, the African Union (AU) and its partners mark the Day of the African Child in commemoration of the 1976 protests by school children in Soweto, South Africa.
The students protested against an education system which was designed to further the purposes of the apartheid South African government.