Civil societies across Africa have this week (31 Sep -1 Oct) converged in Accra, Ghana to discuss the progress made towards achieving a safe, healthy and prosperous Continent. Informing the consultative meeting is a major review of the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development (AADPD)2014 and findings from the African Population and Development Index Report, (APDI) 2018)
The CSO consultative forum led by International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) , under the theme Enabling Choices For The Africa We Want seeks to review the gains, the gaps and the lessons learned since the adoption of the AADPD. Key messages that will be arrived upon will be shared with the Africa Union (AU) Member States who will be meeting on 2nd Oct -5th Oct. The Member States will review progress on the implementation and make recommendations for its further implementation and contribution to the AU Agenda 2063 and other relevant global review processes.
In 2013, the declaration resolved to focus on key issues that translate to the demographic dividend for economic growth and development transformation of Africa. The issues include; Dignity and Equality, Health, Peace and Mobility, Governance, Data and Statistics as well as enhanced International Cooperation and partnerships.
“We all know the efforts that went into the negotiations of the Addis Ababa Declaration five years ago, it is of paramount importance that we jealously guard the gains of such negotiations by limiting ourselves to an introspection of what has been achieved since its inception” Said Sam Ntelamo, IPPF Resident Representative to the Africa Union, in his opening remarks “ The focus of our interactions should be to take stock of the implementation of the declaration and come up with tangible recommendations” He added.
Civil societies reckon that Africa has been progressing steadily in areas of economic and social development, since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) that was held in Cairo 1994. For example, data from the APDI shows that fewer women are dying in pregnancy and childbirth, more women have access to education, work and political participation and that more children, girls in particular, are going to school with primary school enrollment rates approaching 90%. The report however warns that persistent inequalities and discrimination are threatening development across Africa.
William Muhwava, Chief Population and Youth, Social Development Policy Division, UNECA, underscored the cooperation of the Civil Society organizations. He reiterated on the impact of their collective voice “People of this great continent are looking up to us to provide policy and pragmatic directions on population and development issues and give them a powerful voice at the global stage” Said Mr. Muhwava in his opening remarks.
CSOs realize that wide gaps exist in most African countries, between population related policies and their actual implementation. Although countries have explicit population policies, most of them lack comprehensive strategies and budgets to support implementation.
MORE ABOUT THE ICPD+25
The ICPD Beyond 2014 review integrated diverse voices from civil society groups from across the continent, including young people which ultimately resulted in AADPD 2013. And was later endorsed by African Heads of State and Government in 2014.