Remmy Shawa, Sonke’s International Sida Project Coordinator, is among young people who met in Addis Ababa at the youth pre-conference before the Africa Conference on Population and Development which commences on 30 September 2013. Remmy is part of the Youth Steering committee which has brought together nearly 160 young people from 43 African countries.
The youth preconference focused on the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend: the Future We Want for Africa” with four sub themes: health, education, employment and inclusive participation, governance and security.
The outcome of this two-day meeting was a set of agreements on key priorities and the development of concrete recommendations for governments and key partners. The outcome document includes language on Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, male involvement, human rights and LGBTI rights and accountability from both government and civil society. The youth recommendations are in line with Sonke’s advocacy priorities of social justice and gender equality. The outcome document does reflect all these key issues and many more, giving the continent hope that the future is indeed in safe hands.
The recommendations from the pre-conference will be fed into the review process of the ICPD. It remains our hope that the Civil Society pre-conference will ensure that these key issues addressing population and development, will be reflected in the civil society outcomes document.