Achieving sustainable development: Africa makes gains but gaps exist
The ICPD PoA is a consensus document that suggests concrete actions and objectives through which governments and countries could achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development, with human rights, equality, equity and dignity as the standard of human well-being.
As part of the review, a global survey was developed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in consultation with the UN Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA), other regional commissions and stakeholders to stimulate dialogue and consultation among the various stakeholders and sectors at the country level so as to foster a shared understanding of achievements and challenges; identify opportunities to accelerate the achievement of results, particularly with respect to areas where implementation is lagging behind; renew commitment and ownership for the Cairo Agenda and strengthen and broaden partnerships around ICPD issues.
In a presentation of the global process at the Africa Review Conference of the ICPD PoA, which is ongoing in Addis Ababa, Mr Kwabena Osei Danquah, Executive Co-ordinator of the ICPD Beyond 2014 Secretariat, said 176 countries had completed the global survey.
In Africa, he said, the participation of countries in the operational review was exemplary as 52 countries filled the questionnaire, compared to 43 in 2009; 43 in 2004 and 41 in 1999.
‘This high level of participation indicates the commitment of countries to the operational review,’ said Mr Danquah.
Another tool used in the operational review in Africa is country reports which follow a standard structure so as to enable comparability between countries, he said.
‘Within each country the operational review was quite engaging. Parliamentarians, the private sector, among others, participated in the operational review,’ Mr Danquah added.
He said the Africa regional report of the operational review provides scientific analyses and authoritative account of the state of population and development, the status of the implementation of the ICPD PoA, and future plans and recommendations for the ICPD beyond 2014.
Focusing on the theme: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend: the Future We Want For Africa, the report emphasises the need for state and non-state actors to recommit themselves at the highest level to fully implement the ICPD PoA in Africa.
Mr Danquah stated that the outcomes of the report would serve as a major reference for population and development policies and programmes beyond 2014, and inform the development agenda post-2015 in Africa.
Main findings and Recommendations
Presenting the main findings and recommendations of the regional survey, Mr Hassan Musa Yousif of the UNECA said tremendous gains had been made in all aspects of health, economic, political and social development.
‘The operational review reflects a high level of political commitment on the part of African countries to the implementation of the ICPD PoA,’ he said.
Progress, Mr Yousif indicated, had been facilitated by a wide range of ICPD-related regional policies and frameworks on health, maternal health, the family, older persons, persons with disabilities, international migration and development, social development, among others, that are being adopted and implemented under the auspices of the African Union (AU).
Mr Yousif, however, emphasised that progress made on the ICPD agenda is uneven, as some issues and priorities received more attention than others.
He said it was clear that government commitment to issues pertaining to older persons, such as promoting employment opportunities for older workers, providing support to families caring for older people or extending or improving old age allowances must be stepped up.
According to Mr Yousif, the narrowing of the gender gap in education, and the increasing numbers of women in parliament and other national offices, are further testimony to Africa’s remarkable progress.
He noted emphatically that the continent had challenges in the area of urbanisation, migration and climate change and these must all be addressed if the region is to achieve sustainable development.
By Rosemary Ardayfio/Daily Graphic/Ghana
Leave a comment. 0 comment so far.