French President Emmanuel Macron. (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron says parenthood "must be a choice, especially for young girls."

He is making his first major address on Africa during a visit to the continent that begins in Burkina Faso.

He says that "I want a young girl to have the choice not to have children at the age of 13" and that "When you see families of six, seven, eight children per woman, are you sure it's a choice from the girl?"

Macron is implicitly referring to comments that prompted controversy in July when he suggested it's a problem that African women often have "seven or eight children."

Large families are valued in the West African nation, providing a safety net of sorts for parents in their later years. Activists say about half of girls in Burkina Faso will be married before age 18.

French President Emmanuel Macron says slavery and human trafficking in Libya are a "crime against humanity."

In a speech at the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Macron said he wants a "European-African initiative" to end the "terrorists and human traffickers' strategy."

He proposed a crackdown on human smugglers' networks between Africa and Europe, after a video footage, broadcast on CNN earlier this month, showed the auction and sale of migrant men as slaves in Libya.

Macron said he wants "Africa and Europe to help populations trapped in Libya by providing massive support to the evacuation of endangered people." He did not elaborate. He said he will formally detail his proposal at a summit in Ivory Coast Wednesday.

Macron was making his first big speech in Africa during a four-day trip to Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

The French presidency's spokesman says stones have been thrown at a vehicle transporting members of the French delegation accompanying President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Burkina Faso.

Bruno Roger-Petit said on his official Twitter account Macron was meeting with his counterpart, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, when the incident happened.

He said no vehicle was destroyed in the incident and there were not "hundreds of assailants."

The incident happened as Macron was expected to make his first big speech in Africa in at the University of Ouagadougou, amid threats of demonstrations.

Burkina Faso's government has ordered schools closed to ease traffic because of the heavy security measures in place during Macron's visit, though many view the closures as an effort to reduce the threat of student unrest.

Authorities in Burkina Faso say several people have been wounded by a hand grenade aimed at French soldiers just hours before the French president arrived in the West African country.

Eyewitnesses say two people on a motorcycle threw the grenade late Monday in a neighborhood of the capital, Ouagadougou. The assailants missed their intended target — a bus carrying members of the French military.

However, police said Tuesday that several others were hurt.

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived later Monday evening for a visit to Burkina Faso. He will head to a European-African summit in Ivory Coast Wednesday.

Burkina Faso has been battling a surge in violence blamed on Islamic extremists. The violence has included two attacks on restaurants popular with foreigners, including one in August that killed 18 people.