Press Release

SYMPOSIUM ON 'ISLAM, DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND AND FAMILY WELLBEING'

27 July 2017

“The Government of the Republic of Chad and the Chadian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs organized a symposium on "Islam, Demographic Dividend and Family Welfare" together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Bank”

N’Djamena, 27 July, 2017 – The opening ceremony was chaired by the Honourable Minister of Health, on behalf of the Prime Minister and Head of Government, under the high authority of the President of the Chadian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and in the presence of the UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Director.

The event attracted over 1,200 guests from 29 West and Central African countries, representing their authorities, religious leaders, scholars and imams, women preachers, ambassadors accredited to Chad, and leaders of civil society, including youth and women's organizations, movements and associations.

During the three-day symposium, religious scholars and non-religious academics, civil society organizations, movements and youth groups with proven experience shared and contributed ideas on the themes of women empowerment, sexual and reproductive health, in particular maternal and child health, family planning, STI/HIV, early and unwanted pregnancies, education, employment and the demographic transition.

The aim of the symposium was to highlight the religious leaders’ potential to contribute in accelerating the demographic transition and ensuring progress towards the stability, prosperity and emergence of developing countries.

The new UNFPA Country Program for 2017-2021 in Chad is going to strengthen communication for social and behaviour change with the involvement of traditional and religious leaders in order to increase the demand for, and supply of modern contraceptives, and to improve quality family planning services without coercion, discrimination or violence.

UNFPA, in partnership with the World Bank-funded Sahel Women Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) project, contributes tremendously in accelerating progress towards the demographic transition, especially in Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad), to enable them to make the most of the demographic dividend.

The Symposium developed a roadmap for establishing or consolidating population networks with operational branches at the district, provincial, national and sub-regional levels.

The highlight of the closing ceremony was the N'Djamena Declaration on the commitments religious leaders have made to promote maternal health, including family planning, the eradication of all forms of violence, and the empowerment of women and youth.

To quote Mr. Ngom, the UNFPA regional director, “This symposium, for me, is a dream come true. Our challenge henceforth will be to meet the demand we have created".

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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA): Delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

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Press contacts:

UNFPA Chad
Toussaint Mbaitoubam, Communication Officer
mbaitoubam@unfpa.org; Tel. :00 235 22 52 37 61 / 00235 66 27 50 33

UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Office (Dakar)   

Begay Downes-Thomas: downes-thomas@unfpa.org 

Céline-Andree Adotevi, adotevi@unfpa.org

Jacob Enoh Eben eben@unfpa.org