President Kaboré advocates for girls’ education
“Education is the only way to fight against early marriage,” declared President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso in his keynote address at the European Development Days (EDD2018), which were held on 5-6 June 2018 in Brussels. “Women and girls at the forefront of sustainable development: Protect, empower, invest” was the official topic of the 12th edition. “I reaffirm our commitment to build a society free from all forms of inequality through a proactive national gender policy,” President Kaboré wrote in a tweet. Burkina Faso has made good progress in achieving equal access to primary education among boys and girls. To date, nearly the same number of girls and boys are enrolled in primary school (86% of all children). However, more efforts need to be made to keep girls in school. Girls are the first to drop out at secondary and university levels. “Education remains an essential vector for transforming the lives of young girls in all sectors of a nation’s life. Even more, it is an effective weapon against all practices that belong to another era,” said President Kaboré. The European Development Days provided an opportunity to recall many basic facts about gender equality, which is, by its nature, a precondition for meeting all of the other SDGs. “The struggle for gender equality requires new approaches; business as usual is no longer an option. The world cannot afford to leave half of its human potential unused as it seeks to meet the sustainable development goals (SDGs).” These key messages were debated by nearly 4 000 speakers from across the world. President George Weah of Liberia also participated in the event. West African artists - Angelique Kidjo and Youssou N’Dour - performed to mark the occasion.