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A human rights and people-centered approach in Africa is key to ensuring no one is left behind

3 May, 2024
A human rights and people-centered approach in Africa is key to ensuring no one is left behind

New York City, 3 May 2024 (ECA) – “A human rights and people-centric approach to sustainable development in Africa is key to ensuring that no one is left behind and this means that women, young people and vulnerable groups must receive priority attention,” says Sweta Saxena, Director, Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Ms. Saxena made the statement while delivering remarks at the “Fifty-seventh session of the Commission on Population and Development” in New York City, 29 April to 3 May 2024 on the theme, “Assessing the status of implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and its contribution to the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. 

The ECA Director stressed that by adopting the Common African Position on Population and Development in 2022, the continent has clearly articulated its priorities, taking into account commonalities, similarities, contentious and diverging views and challenges.

Ms. Saxena highlighted three key issues where regional commitment is vital:

First, Africa needs to respond to its population dynamics, which include rapid population growth in countries with some of the most fragile health systems, high rates of poverty, low literacy, high levels of gender inequality and limited access to modern technologies. These dynamics must be accounted for in the design and implementation of  development plans, as well as their implications for Africa’s structural transformation.

Second, to sustain the successes of the past 30 years, governments need to tackle the inequalities that hurt the poorest and the most marginalized by implementing policies and allocating budgets to ensure the poor and the marginalized benefit from economic growth.

Third, Africa needs to invest in the production of high-quality statistical information and data. In many countries, data systems remain poor - civil registration data are limited; and surveys and censuses are not conducted on a regular basis.

“A data revolution in Africa would afford our continent to generate its own vibrant data to enable proper planning and better measurement of development outcomes, including the goals and objectives on population and development,” she said.

To support Africa’s transformation, ECA in partnership with UNFPA and the African Union has this year carried out a high-quality and evidence-based continental review of the implementation of the AADPD since 2014. Its aim is to influence national policies on population and development.

Two decades after the historic Cairo population conference, Africa adopted the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development beyond 2014 which provides region-specific guidance for the full implementation of ICPD in Africa.

In this respect, Ms. Saxena said ECA has embarked upon a journey to better serve the policy priorities and capacity development needs of member States so that they can fulfil the promise of ICPD.

Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826