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POP Afrique 2ndQ-2006

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POP Afrique 2ndQ-2006

  1. 1. ...because everyone counts. 1 • March 2006 UNFPA chief applauds the approval of SRH Continental Policy Framework M s. Thoraya Obaid, UNFPA Executive Director, hailed African leaders for their efforts to implement regional and international agreements, particu- larly those related to the Millennium Development Goals. Calling it a “milestone,” she particularly applauded the Continental Policy Framework for Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) approved by African Ministers of Health and endorsed by the AU Executive Council in January 2006. In her message disseminated during the Assembly of the AU Heads of States in Khartoum in January, Ms. Obaid stated that sexual and reproductive health is a key component of maternal and child health as well as women’s empowerment By approving the Framework, the AU Ministers of Health reaffirmed that improving maternal health through preventive efforts is more economical than curative approaches. The approval reaffirmed the position the Ministers took in Tripoli in 2003 that investing in maternal health is an economic, social and moral imperative. Ms. Obaid’s message also underscored the Ministers’ affirmation of the need to strongly link sexual and reproductive health AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT • January 2006 • Khartoum, Sudan to HIV/AIDS attesting to the fact that such linkages would result in more relevant and cost-effective programs with greater impact. Reiterating that sexual and reproductive health is a human right, the message emphasized rights as fundamental to achieving gender equality, reducing poverty, improving child and maternal health, and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS.••
  2. 2. ...because everyone counts. • 2 T UNECA and UNFPA steps-up partnership The United Nations Economic Commission forAfrica (UNECA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)renewedtheirlongstanding- partnershiptocontributetoaddressing Africa’s priority population and devel- opmentissuesinthecontextofpoverty reduction. TherecentlysignedMemorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishes thegroundforECAandUNFPAtoco- ordinateeffortsandpoolresources to support and identify areas in popula- tion,genderandpovertyreductionthat maybetargetedtoimprovethequality oflifeofeverywoman,manandchildin Africa. AUC’sSocial Affairs Com- missioner, Adv. Bience Gawanas, assured UNFPAthat the equipment will be taken cared of — stress- ingAUC’s accountability in imple- menting the AUC-UNFPA joint project. At the ICT equipment turnover activity held at the Afri- can Union on February 16, 2006, she also thanked the UNFPA Ex- ecutive Director, Ms. Thoraya Obaid for facilitating the partner- ship. AU Commissioner Gawanas underscored that putting the ICT equipment into work will greatly enhance theAUC’s data collection and processing capabilities. “Any- one could come at anytime and we should be able to give the needed data,” the commisioner said. On the part of the UNFPA, Ms. Etta Tadesse, Representative to the AU and ECA, wished that with a functioning updated ICT equip- ment, the African Union will go from strength to strength. Dr. B. O. Tema, Director for Human Re- sources, Science and Technology (HRST) also thanked UNFPA on behalf of the HRST Commis- sioner.• is a quarterly publication of the United Nations Population Fund - Liaison Office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Comments, contributions, and diary items on the context of the African Union Commission and NEPAD may be considered for publication. www.unfpa.org Please address inquiries, contributions and request for free subscription to: Maria Lourdes M. Luces or luces@unfpa.org UNFPA Liaison Office 1st Floor Africa House ECA Compound, King Menelik II Avenue, P. O. Box 8714, Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA The Turnover ACTIVITY Throughthisagreement,theECAand theUNFPAshallalsoendeavortomoni- torandevaluatetheoutcomesoftherec- ommendationsoftheBeijingPlatformof Action,theInternationalConferenceon PopulationandDevelopment/Programof Action or ICPD/PoA and other consen- susreachedatinternationalandregional levels. Thepartnershipfeaturesthestrength- eningofthecapabilitiesofRegionalEco- nomicCommunities.Otheractivitiesun- derthisrenewedpartnershipincludepro- gramsundertheNewPartnershipforAf- rica’s Development or NEPAD and the strategicprogramframeworkoftheAfri- canUnionCommission.••
  3. 3. ...because everyone counts. 3 • UNFPA delivers ICT package to AUC (L-R) Dr. Thomas Bisika, Head for Health Division; Ms. Etta Tadesse, UNFPA Representative to AU and ECA; Adv. Bience Gawanas, Commissioner for Social Affairs; Dr. B. O. Tema, Director for Human Resources, Science and Technology; and, Dr. Kamel Esseghairi, Director for Social Affairs. The ICT equipment delivered at the AUC compound. AUC and UNFPA staff sign ICT equipment turnover documents. IIt will be recalled that the Memorandum of Understanding signed on June 3, 2005 between the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the lat- ter approved a Project Cooperation Agreement in the amount of US$1.2 million which aimed at strengthening of the AUC’s insti- tutional and technical capacity. The Area of Cooperation re- flected the priorities set in the AU 2005-2007 Plan of Action - Hori- zon 2007 and in harmony with the Plan of Action of the International Conference on Population and De- velopment. A key project component is en- hancing the data management ca- pability of the Commission. To this end, UNFPA purchased and deliv- ered ICT equipment worth more than US $100,000 to theAUC. The delivered ICT package is expected to enhance the AUC’s data man- Ms. Etta Tadesse, UNFPA Respresen- tative to AU and ECA, and H.E. Advocate Bience Gawanas - AU Commissioner for Social Affairs at the ICT equipment turnover program at the African Union in January 2006. agement and capability. The package include one data center server, one application/stor- age server, three desktop computers, two laptop computers, one laser jet printer, one color laser jet printer, peripherals and softwares.••
  4. 4. ...because everyone counts. • 4 ” The African Union prepares for the approval and adoption of the Pan African Youth Charter and the Pan African Federation * Apostle Emmanuel Etim is the CEO/ Director of the Centre for Development Ac- tion International, Institute for Youth Stud- ies and Development Research and Chair, NEPAD International Youth Expert Panel. The meeting was attended by youth and experts from African States and the UNFPA sup- ported a very youth-inclusive process that even sought the help of a youth as consultant. Participants were encouraged to return and lead extensive consultations on the draft docu- ments discussed at the meeting prior to the Meeting of Experts and African Union Ministers in Charge of Youth in May this year. “The AU’s youth meeting was a milestone as it sought to propose a continental Youth Charter providing for youth participation, national policy, education and skills, sexual and reproductive health, peace and security, among others. At the meeting, we discussed a framework for establishing a strong and inclusive mechanism for youth participation in deci- sion-making. Further, there was a proposal to organize a Pan African Youth Federation. The Federation will help facilitate the evolution of the role of young people toward their growth and development, a valuable social capital for young people.
  5. 5. ...because everyone counts. 5 • iIn accordance to its Priority Plan of Action “Horizon 2007”, the African Union Commission has begun taking leadership in the area of youth devel- opment and empowerment. Under its programs for the youth is the Pan-Afri- can Youth Charter, a framework that reaffirms not only the rights, freedom and responsibilities of youth in Africa, but also promotes their development and empowerment. ” “A Pan African Youth Charter is long overdue. The charter, if approved, shall provide a framework through which governments can consult and mobilize the youth in their countries and will serve as the base for national youth development planning and advocacy. So, who is the African youth? The UN pegs the youth at age 15- 24. Life expectancy in many African countries as a result of HIV/AIDS is 43-56. Many young people finish university education at the age of 23-28, and the age of initiation to adulthood based on many cultures in Africa is around 15-25. So then, who is the African youth? I see great hope with the establishment of a Pan-African Youth Federation. I hope that this will be a great opportunity to move from rhetoric to concrete actions, from declarations to people-based development programs and from frameworks to community development initiatives. I really look forward to seeing this happen. *Dabesaki Maclkemenjima is the Ex- ecutive Director of the Development Part- nership International and a Task Force Member of the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS. He is also the UNFPA youth con- sultant for this activity. Participants at the Pan African Youth Forum and Meeting of Experts held in African Union in Addis Ababa in January 2006. Pan African Youth Forum to be held in Addis Ababa in May 2006 and subsequently for the adoption by Member-States at the Ministerial Conference scheduled to take place after the Youth and Experts Meet- ings. The Charter will be tabled for ap- proval by the Heads of States and Governments at the Summit in July.• On January 5-6 2006, a meeting for experts and youth representatives was organized by the AU Department on Human Resources, Science and Technology with support from the UNFPA to review the draft Pan-African Youth Charter and a concept paper on a Pan African Youth Federation. The brainstorming was a prepara- tory activity for the Charter’s endorse- ment by the youth and experts at the * Mssrs. Etim and Maclkemenjima are both participants in the AFRICAN YOUTH FORUM held in the African Union in January 2006. The above views and opinions are entirely their own.
  6. 6. ...because everyone counts. • 6 UNFPUNFPUNFPUNFPUNFPAAAAA and CHINCHINCHINCHINCHINAAAAA’s National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC) initiateSouth-South cooperation China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC) and the UNFPA are exploring means of Sino-African South-South Cooperation in the field of population and development. The UNFPA took the initiative of iden- tifying African countries’ priority training areas based on the Chinese best prac- tices and discussions with China’s NPFPC. These areas are on poverty reduction, training in leadership on popu- lation, contraceptive logistics, and re- search management, among others. Specifically, the training areas that some African countries indicated as their priority are on: • Maternal Mortality Reduction • SRH Programs Monitoring and Evaluation • Integration of Rights-Based Approach to RH and FP Likewise, African countries are also interested on: • Reproductive Health Commodity • RH Service Delivery • Youth Friendly SRH Services • Poverty-Reduction through women empowerment and strong work ethic • Gender/ Adolescent RH and Integrating RH/HIV The consensus among NPFPC, UNFPA and partners such as International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) was that African countries could highly benefit from the Chinese experience and lessons learned, given China’s proven capacity in the area of population and family planning particularly in contraceptive technology and logistics. On the other hand, it was agreed that there are many lessons from the African Region particularly in the area of reproductive health and HIV prevention that could be of benefit to China as well.• Anti-fistula campaign gains in Africa “Today, during the next 24 hours, an estimated6,000girlswillundergothepractice offemalegenitalmutilation(FGM)orcutting.I join many others in calling for an end to this practice, which violates the rights of women and girls and harms their sexual and reproductive health.” Thus stated Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UNFPA executive director,at the 4TH Annual Interna- tionalDayof ZeroToleranceof FGMinFebruary. Ms. Obaid commended those who work to endthepracticeandnotedthatchangehadto come from the communities engaging in the practice,astraditionswereoftenstrongerthan law.“FGMorcuttinghastaughtusthatchange mustcomefromwithin,”shesaid. In the same occasion in Mauritania, the Association of Imams and Ulemas released a fatwadenouncingFGMandclarifyingitsplace injurisprudence.Theceremonywasorganised by the State Secretariat for Women with the supportof UNFPAandUNICEF. ThefatwadeclaresthattheHolyKorandoes not contain any text that suggests that girls shouldbeexcised.Thefatwaalsoclarifiedthat theHadithsoftheProphetMohamed,according totheulemasandotherscholarsdonotcontain anyproofthatexcisionwasrecommendedfor girls. InJanuary,theInternationalOrganizationfor WomenandDevelopmentextendeditsefforts tocuremanyAfricangirlsandwomenof vesico- vaginal fistula by sending doctors to various Africancountries,suchasNiger,onshort-term relieftripstotreatwomenwithfistulas. Inthesamemonth,twoUgandandoctorsand twonursesunderwenttraininginvesico-vaginal fistula repair at Kitovu Missionary Hospital in Masaka District. The month-long project is funded by Engender Health and the training equipmentissuppliedbyUNFPA. TheUNFPAestimatesthatmorethan2-million womenandgirls,mostlyinAfricaandSoutheast Asia, suffer from fistulas — a serious complication of childbirth that leaves the mother physically debilitated and also ostracizedbyherfamilyandcommunity. The UNFPA project, ‘Preventing Harm and Healing Wounds,’ launched in 2003 to end fistula globally covers 30 countries in Sub- Saharan Africa. The project ensures the prevention and treatment of fistula, to save millionsoflivesofwomen.• West Africa Health Organization Executive Director, Dr. Kabba Joiner, meets with Ms. Etta Tadesse at the latter’s office. WORKING with Regional Economic Communities South-South cooperation
  7. 7. ...because everyone counts. 7 • “Meeting reproductive health supply needs is a key element of the global effort to save the lives of women and men by protecting their reproductive health.” This is UNFPA’s message articu- lated by Thoraya Obaid, its executive director. In this regard, the UNFPA has de- fined steps to operationalize the Glo- bal Programme to Enhance Reproduc- tive Health Commodity Security (RHCS). At the country level, key steps include ensuring the development of a na- tional coordinating body for RHCS, the inclusion of contraceptives in the na- tional essential drugs list, and the creation of a national budget line to fund RH commodities. “RHCS works toward prevention of HIV/AIDS and reduction of maternal mortality,” said Mr. Jagdish Upadhyay, chief of the Commodity Management Branch of the UNFPA in New York. At the planning meeting on RH Commodity Security with the Country Technical Services Team inAddis Ababa, he said that the Team at the meeting endeavored to establish country-spe- cific needs in terms of RHCS. “We would like to find out what is available, what are the gaps, and to try to address these needs,” he stated. These needs and purposes may come in the form of supply, advocacy, infrastructure, and sustainability. Plans were finalized at the meeting. “And on that basis, we will find out how we can address the needs and the gaps. We can raise funds from donors and from Planning Meeting on RH Commodity Security with the Countr y Technical Ser vices Team - Addis Ababa attended by staff from UNFPA New Yor k and representatives from Regional Economic Communities. countries to address them,” Mr. Upadhyay revealed. The UNFPA looks at every coun- try’s needs and prioritize them. “We look at all countries of Africa, there is no specific priority country,” he as- sured. Meanwhile, the UNFPA has begun involving the Regional Economic Com- munities or RECs in its planning work- shops and key meetings particularly those related to maternal mortality reduction and ensuring reproductive health commodity security. These Com- munities are the East African Commu- nity (EAC), Inter Governmental Author- ity on Development (IGAD), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the West African Health Organization (WAHO) with whom the UNFPA identified areas on partner- ships and priority support. Moreover, the UNFPA in joint col- laboration with the World Health Or- ganization (WHO) and the Interna- tional Organization on Migration (IOM) supported the Rapid Capacity Assess- ment for the said RECs.•
  8. 8. ...because everyone counts. • 8 T h e s e victories r e p r e s e n t important steps forward but we still have a long way to go before we reach gender parity in the political decision making levels. Today only 16 per cent of legislators worldwide are women. Today I call for greater action to involve women in decision-making at all levels—from the top of government and the United Nations down to the basic unit of society, the family, and foremost in matters related to their own lives. Research shows that while much progress has been made, millions of women are still denied the opportunity to make even the most basic decisions about marriage and child-bearing. At September’s World Summit, world leaders agreed to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015 as critical for the attainment of gender equality and the other Millennium Development Goals to improve maternal health, reduce child mortality, combat HIV/AIDS, and reduce poverty. Reproductive health and rights are fundamental to women’s empowerment. Today, on International Women’s Day, I would like to encourage greater dialogue within societies, communities and families, between women and men, between young and old. We need to talk to each other and find ways to advance mutual respect, mutual commu- nication and mutual responsibility. Gender equality should be inscribed into national law and translated into investments in national budgets. UNFPA is committed to promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, women’s empowerment, male involvement and responsibility, and gender equality. Today we salute the women and men who are working towards these worthy goals. • Womenare not only life givers. They are also peace builders and must play a full role in conflict resolution and recovery. They are workers, even though their work is often undervalued and underpaid. They are the backbone of families, communities and society, even though their multiple roles are not often recognized or appreciated. Yes, women are different from men but this difference should be celebrated along with the recognition that all human beings are created equal in dignity and rights and should be afforded equal opportunity and legal protection. Much progress has been made over the years for the advancement of women and this past year was no exception. In Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected President, the first female President in Africa. In Germany, Angela Merkel was elected as the nation’s first female Chancellor. And in Chile, citizens elected their first woman President, Michelle Bachelet.