Cotonou, BENIN: Over 150 youth drawn from the Youth Action Movement (YAM) and other youth organizations from Francophone African countries are gathered in Cotonou, Benin, for the second edition of the regional forum aimed at sharing best practices on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), especially among adolescents and young people. The youth are drawn from over 20 countries.
Discussions at the forum are centered around the identification of effective strategies and responses that have proven successful in advocating for the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of adolescents and young people in Africa, and disseminating them to different stakeholders.
This year's theme is titled: “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Adolescents and Youth: Government Priority”.
The experiences shared, opportunities identified and solutions proposed by the young people at the forum will help inform policy and SRHR programs in the sub-Saharan region, more so Francophone Africa.
IPPF Africa Region and its different partners greatly value youth engagement and their direct involvement in the design of and implementation of health programs, especially those pertaining to sexual reproductive health and rights. Their voices and meaningful participation are instrumental in the achievement of improved health outcomes.
The regional forum has been organized by the Benin chapter of the Youth Action Movement (YAM), and is supported by the Embassy of Netherlands in Benin and IPPF.
Other participants in the forum include representatives from different government ministries, donor agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, religious leaders and other stakeholders.
The regional forum is timely, taking place ahead of the high-level ICPD25 Summit to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 12 – 14 November 2019.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) first held in Cairo. At the conference, 179 governments adopted a Programme of Action that underscored that fact that reproductive health, women’s empowerment and gender equality are key to sustainable development.
ICPD25 is aimed at mobilizing political will and financial commitments needed to accelerate the full implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. These commitments will be centered around achieving zero unmet need for family planning information and services, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls.
Story by Maryanne Waweru-Wanyama, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region.