African Countries and Development Partners commit to advancing the Demographic Dividend during event hosted by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, in collaboration with the Embassies of the Republic of Chad and the Republic of Guinea for diplomatic missions to the African Union.
Addis Ababa: UNFPA briefs Permanent Representatives to the African Union and Development partners on partnerships and initiatives to harness the Demographic Dividend in Africa. The occasion also saw the continental launch of the Annual Report “Transforming and uplifting Lives: One Region, One Mission” produced by the UNFPA West and Central Africa Region Office.
UNFPA is advancing multiple initiatives and establishing partnerships in support of efforts by African governments to transform and uplift the lives of women and young people across the continent. This is because Africa has a large and rapidly growing population and its women and young people are central to its future. In 32 African countries, more than 40 per cent of the population is under 15 years old. Sub-Saharan Africa has the potential to reap an annual dividend of $500 billion for up to 30 years if it implements appropriate public policies and investments before or during demographic transition.
“The window of opportunity to harness the demographic dividend is time bound and requires effective partnerships and immediate actions,” said Mr. Mabingue Ngom, Director of the UNFPA West and Central Africa Region. “It is therefore critical to protect and scale up investments in young people, especially adolescent girls. This will help ensure skilled and healthy young people join the workforce, become less dependent and fulfil their potential.”
Harnessing the demographic dividend is central to Africa’s development agenda as illustrated by recent adoption of the theme of the 2017 AU Summit alongside the call to establish a framework for a continental initiative in this regard. This is reaffirmed in the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which position the demographic dividend as a critical tool to achieve a peaceful and prosperous Africa transformed by its people.
“This briefing and the high level interaction was aimed at strengthening UNFPA’s partnership with the African Union and other stakeholders on charting ways on harnessing the Demographic Dividend in line with UNFPA's mandate derived from the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development” said Mr. Kwabena Osei-Danquah, Director of the Division of Governance and Multilateral Affairs.
Around 90 participants drawn from the Diplomatic Missions to the African Union; High level officials of the African Union Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa; selected UN agencies; development partners; civil society and media stakeholders took part in the report launch and discussions on the Demographic Dividend.
Donor representatives conveyed their strong support and interest in UNFPA's work, the ambassadors from especially West and Central African countries as well as Zambia, Uganda and Malawi also welcomed the contribution of UNFPA in transforming and uplifting the lives of people on the continent. Representatives from the AUC, ADB, ECA, and UNESCO also confirmed their readiness to collaborate with UNFPA in support of the AU's focus on the Demographic Dividend.
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