Late March, southern African country, Botswana, initiated a bill to raise the country’s age of consent from 16 to 18 years. The government said it put the bill to the legislature to address rising defilement and rape in the nation.
So for other African countries facing a similar issue, could low age of consent be to blame?
The age of consent varies around the world, including in Europe where Denmark and Austria’s age of consent is 14, France and Greece’s is 15, and Norway and Netherlands’ is 16.
The international community has not set a universal age of consent, only advising that the Convention on the Rights of the Child says that children have the right to be protected from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation.
Below is a list of African countries with ages of consent below 16. Will they too raise the bar on consent?
Angola – 12 regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender
Burkina Faso – 13 regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender
Comoros – 13
Niger – 13
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic – 13
Botswana – 14 for males/ 16 for females
Cape Verde – 14
Chad – 14 for girls, even if she is married; unknown for boys
Democratic Republic of Congo – 14 for females and 18 for males
Lesotho – 14 regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender
Madagascar – 14
São Tomé and Príncipe – 14
Guinea – 15
Morocco – 15
Somalia – no age of consent
Sudan – intercourse against the law if not married