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A total of 79 customary marriages were dissolved in the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in 2021, according to Assembly data.

The Assembly in 2021 registered a total of 345 customary marriages, of which 79 were dissolved, indicating that one in four registered marriages collapsed.

They were Islamic engagements and marriages.

Common causes of the breakdown of marriages were infidelity, child abuse and non-maintenance of children.

Gilbert Nii Ankrah, Public Affairs Officer, AMA, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Monday that the divorce figures for 2020 were lower than those for 2021.

“In 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Assembly did not register any significant figures, but all I can say is that the figures increased in 2021 compared to to 2020,” he said.

Mr Ankrah said that in 2021, out of a total of 5,403 registered ordinance marriages, only 1,776 were performed by the Assembly.

On the issue of divorce, Mr Ankrah explained that because marriage by ordinance was a matter for the court and legally inclined, the Assembly had no power to get involved in the process of dissolving such marriages.

“Divorce processes for these marriages are strictly limited to court, ” he said.

He urged the public to follow the correct procedures to register any form of marriage with the Assembly to avoid disappointment.

Although marriages could be registered with other assemblies, the AMA, he said, had “a unique brand”, and that marriages registered and solemnized with the Assembly “have a certain form of authority”.

Mr Ankrah said: “With the Marriage Ordinance, after the registration of the marriage with the Assembly, the information is published for a period of 21 days to allow any object or other after which the marriage can be solemnised, either by the Assembly or by any other church certified to do so.”