African experts call for speedy implementation of Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development
Africa should prioritize the implementation of the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development (AADPD) which is key to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Commission Agenda 2063, population experts have urged.
Meeting at the 10th Africa Regional Review meeting of the AADPD, the African Population Experts Committee (APEC) called on African governments to fulfill the principles of the declaration and to tap the youth dividend to accelerate sustainable development.
The Chief, in the UNFPA Representation Office to African Union Commission (AUC) and Economic Commission for Africa, Saturnin Epie, noted that population dynamics, climate change, urbanization, migration, and innovation warrant particular attention in achieving AADPD. He added that inaction on these will regress the gains made and further constrain future progress.
Member States should revive the momentum of addressing youth issues with scale investments and policy actions, Mr. Epie said.
The 10th Africa Regional Review of the DPD was jointly organized by the ECA, the AUC), the United Nations Population Fund and the Zambian Government to take stock of progress since the 5-year review and identify best practices that have advanced the implementation of the declaration.
The review provided an opportunity to assess progress on the implementation of the AADPD, identify gaps and challenges, and ultimately advance advocacy and policy change, to achieve national development objectives and priorities. The review report will inform the UN Secretary General’s 2024 CPD report.
The 10-year review of the AADPD aimed to facilitate an in-depth review of the implementation of AADPD, based on the Operational Guide, Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, and national review guidelines. In addition, it was to review Member States’ progress in the implementation of key recommendations of the 2018 AAPD review as well as voluntary commitments member states made during the ICPD’s 5-year commemoration in November 2019. The meeting identified gaps, lessons learned, and emerging issues in the implementation of AADPD. The meeting identified challenges hindering progress and put forth recommendations for each of the six pillars of the AADPD based on the findings of national review reports.
ECA Chief of Social Policy section, Gender Poverty and Social Policy Division, Saurabh Sinha, mentioned that Continental implementation of the AADPD was essential for the achievement of SDGs and AUC Agenda 2063. He added that while crises including COVID-19 had disrupted progress on the continent, there was urgent need to identify the areas where acceleration of efforts are required and explore how Member States across the continent can respond to long-standing and emerging issues.
The AUC Director for Health and Humanitarian Affairs, Julio Rakotonirina, called on Member States to renew their commitment to work collaboratively and partner across the key pillars of the AADPD.
Mr. Rakotonirina, mentioned that gender equality has remained an ambitious goal to achieve, in addition, violence and harmful practices as well as achieving optimal health outcomes on the continent remained a challenge.
The Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development (AADPD) was adopted by African Ministers at the Africa Regional Conference on Population and Development held in Ethiopia in October 2013 and endorsed by African Heads of State at the African Union Executive Council in 2014. This declaration provides region-specific guidance on population and development in Africa, and guidelines for the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) beyond 2014 in Africa. The Declaration comprises a total of 88 priority measures (commitments) grouped under six pillars: Dignity and Equality; Health; Place and Mobility; Governance; Data and Statistics; Partnership and International Cooperation.
In making the AADPD commitments, the experts viewed the demographic dividend as an important dimension of the AADPD agenda, and one of the key pathways from AADPD to sustainable development.
With its human rights framing, the AADPD can serve as a standard for policies and programs that empower women and young people and uphold their rights, the experts said.