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Prostitution is illegal in most countries in Africa. Nevertheless, it is frequently common in practice, driven by the widespread poverty in many sub-Saharan African countries[1], and is one of the drivers for the prevalence of AIDS in Africa.[2] Social breakdown caused by civil war or economic collapse in several African countries has caused further increases in the rate of prostitution in those countries. For these reasons, and because of the relative poverty of Africa relative to other parts of the world, some African countries have also become destinations for sex tourism.

AIDS infection rates are particularly high among African sex workers. Long distance truck drivers have been identified as a group with the high-risk behaviour of sleeping with prostitutes and a tendency to spread the infection along trade routes in the region. Infection rates of up to 33% were observed in this group in the late 1980s in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Transactional sexual relationships are particularly common in sub-Saharan Africa, where they often involve relationships between older men and younger women or girls. In many cases, the woman in a transactional sexual relationship may remain faithful to her boyfriend, while he may have multiple sexual partners. In other cases, the woman may have multiple partners. In both of these cases, transactional sex presents an increased risk of HIV infection. As a result, transactional sex is a factor involved in the spread of AIDS in Africa.



Prostitution in Cameroon is illegal but attracts sex tourism from the west especially for child prostitution. The Cameroonian government has attempted to stop this trade by agreeing to multi-laterial agreements such as charters against sex tourism, like signing up with the Universal Federation of Travels Agents Associations (UFTAA).[3]

Côte d'Ivoire

In Côte d'Ivoire prostitution itself (exchanging sex for money) is legal, but associated activities such as soliciting, pandering or running brothels are illegal.[4] The civil war has left many women in need for wages, so some have resorted to prostitution, as there is high unemployment.[5]


Prostitution in Ethiopia is legal, but procuring (operating brothels, benefiting from prostitution, etc.) is illegal according to Article 634 of the Ethiopian Penal Code, as revised May 2005.[6] Many feel it has contributed to the increased incidence of AIDS.[7]


Prostitution is illegal in Liberia[8] Like its neighbor, Sierra Leone, child prostitution has seen an increase in the aftermath of a civil war.


Prostitution is illegal in Morocco.[9] Morocco is a one of the premier destinations for child sex tourism in Africa.[10] The country is considered a tier 2.[11] Many children are vulnerable as adoption laws in Morocco are very rigid and difficult which is made worse if the child is female due to the preference for boys. Due to Morocco increasing reputation for attracting foreign pedophiles Morocco has signed various international treaties to deal with the problem.[12][13][14] Male prostitution is known but that as stigmatised.[15]


Prostitution in Senegal is legal but the prostitutes must be 21 years of age or over and must regularly attend centers administered by the Ministry of Health for checkups, education, and medical treatment.[16] Some critics contend this is the reason why Senegal has a relatively low AIDS infection rate in comparison with many African countries.[17][18]


Prostitution in Zimbabwe is illegal[19][20] but since the increase of famine in the country prostitution has thrived.[21][22]


External links

Côte d'Ivoire

See also


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