Campaign RoadMap

Campaign Timeline

The AU Campaign to End Child Marriage is a project that was initiated by the former Chairperson of the African Union Commission- Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to enhance efforts to promote and protect the rights of girls and women in Africa. The Campaign was officially launched at the continental level on 29 May 2014.

The overall purpose of the Campaign is to accelerate the end of child marriage in Africa by enhancing continental awareness of the effects of child marriage. The Campaign works on already existing activities of governments and partners in ending child marriage. It is based on three main components advocacy, monitoring and evaluation and capacity building and technical assistance.


Launch of the Campaign in 24 countries

the purpose of the launches is to increase national conscience on the rights and welfare of the girl-child and obtain Member State buy-in toward ending the harmful practice of child marriage, the countries that launched are: Ethiopia, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mali, The Sudan, Ghana, Eritrea, The Gambia, Senegal, Nigeria, Liberia, Cameroon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Benin, Lesotho, Gabon, and Guinea Biassau.


January 2015

The High Level Advocacy Breakfast Meeting on Ending Child Marriage

On the fringes of the January 2015 AU Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa– Hosted and championed by the President and First lady of the Republic of Chad;


Commemoration of the Day of the African Child (DAC) 2015

In Soweto, South Africa, under the theme - “25 Years after the adoption of the African Children’s Charter: Accelerating our Collective Efforts to End Child Marriage in Africa”, the DAC took place on the fringes of the June 2015 Summit of Heads of State and Government in Sandton, South Africa;


June 2015

Development of the African Common Position on Ending Child Marriage

In Africa and its Action Plan, which was endorsed by the Ministerial Meeting of the Special Technical Committee on Labour, Employment and Social Development, and submitted to the Executive Council and the June 2015 Assembly of Heads of States and Government for adoption;

12 Dec 2015

Completion of three desk studies

i) Effects of Traditional and Religious Practices of Child Marriage to the Socio-economic Development of Africa’; ii) The linkages between child marriage and HIV/AIDS in Africa; iii) Desk Review on Linkages between Child Marriage, Teen Pregnancies and Its Negative Effects On Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health. The purpose of the studies is to help the Campaign generate a body of evidence to guide the work of the Commission and its partners in addressing the practice of child marriage;

12 Dec 2015

November 2015

The First African Girls Summit on Ending Child Marriage in Africa(November

The Commission of the African Union in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Zambia and with support from various partners organized the First African Girls' Summit on Ending Child Marriage in Africa, in recognition of the efforts being made by African Governments and other stakeholders that have been actively working to end the harmful practice of child marriage by raising awareness of the adverse consequences for girls and running programs that provide girls with viable alternatives to marriage, as well as working towards more effective enforcement of existing laws that condemn child marriage;

September 2016

Setting up of a Civil Society Reference Group

This reference group is comprised of 10 civil society organizations working on child marriage, child rights and child protection issues, the CSOs were selection by the Commission. The reference group will provide ab opportunity for networking of the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa to drive CSO engagement and ensure better targeted grassroots’ reach;

September 2016

March 2016

Regional Capacity Building Trainings for Regional Economic Communities, Member States and CSOs on Ending Child Marriage

The AUC Department of Social Affairs organized three capacity building workshops for Regional Economic Communities, Member States and CSOs. The workshops were held in September & October 2015 and March 2016, in Zambia (bringing together participants from East and Southern Africa), Nigeria (bringing together participants from West and Central Africa) and Egypt (bringing together participants from North Africa) respectively;

September 2016

Capacity Building training for religious, traditional leaders and parliamentarians in Addis Ababa

This workshop provided an understanding of child marriage and other harmful traditional practices focusing on the role of Religious and traditional Leaders/bodies as well as parliamentarians as important agents of change in ending child marriage in Africa;

September 2016

November 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya, the second in Ghana (27 February – 01 March 2017)

Regional capacity building trainings for the media on ending child marriage

The main objective of the trainings is to enhance the capacity of the media to better investigate and report on child marriage in Africa with a focus on addressing the different facets of the issue and challenging all stakeholders towards ending the practice. The workshops will be regional, the first workshop will take place in November 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya, the second in Ghana (27 February – 01 March 2017) for the West and Central African Stream, and the third in Botswana (28 - 30 March 2017)  for the Southern African Stream with following workshops for North Africa, West & Central Africa and Southern Africa.  

November 2016

Promotion of the Campaign

In collaboration with CAF and UNICEF during the AFCON Women’s Football Championship – November 2016

November 2016

31 January 2017

High-Level Breakfast on the Implementation of the Common African Position on Ending Child Marriage in Africa

This high- level event was hosted by the President of the Government of Zambia H.E. Edgar C. Lungu in collaboration with the AUC. The Breakfast was on the progress made by the campaign over the past two years as well as recommitments of Heads of States to end child marriage in Africa.

19 – 20 April 2017

CSO Reference Group Inception Meeting

Took place 19 – 20 April 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In April 2017, the Campaign together with the Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage established a Civil Society Reference Group with ten (10) organizations selected across Africa, representing different stakeholders and reflecting regional balance, to support the efforts of AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa by providing advice to the Campaign, while galvanising and deepening the participation of CSOs in implementing the Campaign's objectives on a larger scale.

19 – 20 April 2017

24 -28 April 2017

Second Ordinary Session of the Specialized Technical Committee(STC) on Social Development, Labor and Employment

The STC meeting took place in Algiers Algeria under the theme “Social Development, Labor, and Employment: Benefits of the Demographic Dividend for Inclusive Development” with the Objective to consider which investments would be required to address opportunities and challenges in reaping benefits of the demographic dividend with the inclusion of vulnerable groups and maximizing labor outcomes. The biennial report on the progress of the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa and the achievement made at the national level in ending child marriage within the framework of the campaign were noted. The STC emphasized the need to end child marriage with concrete recommendations from Member States and other stakeholders on actions to be taken to end child marriage. A declaration  was also developed stressing : ‘Continue to collaborate with the African Union on the campaign to end child marriage and to engage with various stakeholders at community, national, regional and international levels in the fight against this harmful practice and others negatively affecting children’

June 2017– May 2018

Project on Communication and Data Management Support to the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa

The AU Campaign to End Child Marriage is working with the Youth Division to recruit youth volunteers to support the campaign. The main objective of the support will be to enhance the capacity of AU Member States to better address the cardinal components of the AU Campaign on Ending Child Marriage in Africa; i.e. Advocacy and Social Mobilization; Monitoring Evaluation, Accountability and Learning; and Facilitating Technical Assistance and Capacity Building, by bridging the existing communication gap between the different government ministries and partners, working to end child marriage and ensuring effective data collection and dissemination.

June 2017– May 2018

June 2017

Peace and Security Open Session on Ending Child Marriage

  • In June 2017, the Peace and Security Council held an open session on ending child marriage chaired by the Ambassador of Zambia. The session aimed at raising awareness on the impact of children who are often forgotten or invisible during conflict and are vulnerable to all forms of sexual exploitation and abuses including child marriages and address. The session came out with concrete recommendations focusing on the need for Member States and other stakeholders to do the following:


  • Invest in research on the situation of children before and during disaster hit countries to have sufficient data on child marriage in conflict affected areas;
  • Put in place special measures to protect children against child marriages and provide rehabilitation for children affected by conflict particularly psycho-social and mental support for children who are displaced or refugees;
  • Provide adequate resources for ending child marriage programs and strengthen legal frameworks treat child marriage as a criminal act and to punish perpetrators of child marriage
  • Strengthen education systems and child friendly safe zones as an alternative to child marriages ;
  • Provide sensitization and training for armed forces and law enforcers on child rights and protection of children;
  • The AU should continue to give capacity building trainings to different stakeholders in fight against child marriage and engage more closely with traditional leaders who have strong influence in communities ;

June 2017

Webinar on Ending Child Marriage and Stopping the Spread of HIV (June 2017)

The Commission of the African Union and RIATT-ESA co-hosted a webinar on Ending Child Marriage and Stopping the Spread of HIV, the focus on existing challenges and the opportunities for action. The webinar was an important opportunity to launch the research finding and ensure that many people know about the study and where to access it.

June 2017

June 2017

High-Level Luncheon on Ending Child Marriage

The African Union Commission together with Plan International and UN Women Organized a high-level lunch as a side event during the Gender Pre-summit. The aim was to enhance to advocacy against child marriage and increased commitment of the Ministers and heads of state to fight against the harmful practice of child marriage

September and October 2017

Fact finding Mission to Tanzania and Mali

The AU Goodwill Ambassador and Special Rapporteur on Ending Child Marriage conducted fact finding missions to Tanzania (September 2017), Mali(October 2017) and Zambia (May 2018)respectively. These visits were useful to the Campaign to assess the current status of member states who have launched the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage.

September and October 2017

October 2017

High-Level Meeting on Ending Child Marriage for West and Central Africa

The West and Central Coalition on Ending Child Marriage, an organization comprised of 10 CSOs, NGOs, and UN Agencies, organized a high level meeting to enhance awareness and increase political commitment of Heads of State, Religious, Traditional and Parliamentary leaders, First Ladies etc.  Member States welcomed the AU’s leadership through the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage and aims to galvanize the local national and regional actions to end child marriage in West and Central Africa, and to contribute to the continued continental momentum driven by key continental initiative.

May 2018

2nd CSO Reference Group Meeting on Ending Child Marriage

The 10 CSO RG member of the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage convened their second meeting in preparation of the 2nd African Girls’ Summit. The meeting also entailed synergizing the workplan of the CSO RG with the AU Campaign workplan for the year 2018, and clearly defining role of CSO RG moving beyond 2018.

May 2018

Messages AU Chairman

Messages African Union Goodwill Ambassador

Join the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa. Every Action Counts" Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda African Union Goodwill Ambassador

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