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High Level Round-table on Harnessing the Continental Demographic Dividend: Taking Family Planning to the Next Level and Reviewing Africa’s FP2020 Commitments

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: UNFPA, in partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health held a high level roundtable followed by a press conference in the margins of the AU Summit on “Harnessing the Continental Demographic Dividend: Taking Family Planning to the Next Level and Reviewing Africa’s FP2020 Commitments”. The event highlighted the critical importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) particularly access to family planning to Africa’s efforts towards harnessing the demographic dividend. Taking place at the halfway point of the FP2020 commitments, it provided an opportunity to learn from the successes and challenges in implementing these commitments and how progress can be scaled up in the face of evidence which suggests that the 2020 targets will not be met at the current pace of work. The high-level roundtable had four panellists including Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of UNFPA and Chair of the roundtable; H.E. Ambassador Olawale Maiyegun, Director of Social Affairs; AUC, Rt. Hon. Prof. Yifru Berhan, Minister of Health, 10 Ethiopia; and the Rt. Hon. Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development, UK.

This event was important in establishing a link between UNFPA Supplies and the global push towards advancing family planning and in the case of Africa, reaping the demographic dividend. It was also used to announce the Family Planning Summit scheduled for  the summer of 2017 to help speed up efforts towards the realizing the FP2020 commitments.

Also in attendance were Mr. Mabingue Ngom, WCARO Director and Dr. Gifty Addico, UNFPA Chief of the Commodity Security Branch. During the interactive session, interventions were made by Mr. Lucien Kouakou, IPPF African Regional Director, Ms. Francine Muyumba, President of the Pan-African Youth Union and Ms. Thokozile Ruzvidzo, Head of the African Centre for Gender within ECA.