Civil Society Organisations African Common Position on ICPD Beyond 2014
Adopted at the CSO pre meeting, Africa Regional Conference on Population and Development, Addis Ababa September 26th, 2013
The Position of the African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on ICPD Beyond 2014 aims to inform the Africa regional review of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action (PoA) - ICPD Beyond 2014. The Position is the product of two-day CSO consultations held September 26-27, 2013 in Addis Ababa, preceding the Africa Regional Population Conference on Population and Development held September 30-October 4, 2013.
1.1. We, African CSOs, appreciate the progress that African governments have made towards the realization of the commitments of the ICPD PoA. Since 1994, virtually all African governments have revised their policy commitments to reflect the ICPD paradigm and put in place systems and institutions to steer and oversee the implementation of the ICPD PoA. Some governments have demonstrated high-level leadership, committed resources, and adopted innovative strategies towards the realization of the ICPD PoA.
1.2. In spite of the gains, we note with concern that there are marked deficiencies in implementation, and Africa has realized the least progress in most ICPD and related MDG indicators. Maternal deaths, social inequities, high disease burden, and limited access to universal sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services remain a major barrier to socioeconomic development in Africa. Women’s social capital remains very low and entrenched inequality between men and women continues to counter socio-economic development efforts. The situation is compounded by the region’s rapid population growth, adverse effects of global warming, internal/civil conflicts, and limited accountability in use of public resources.
1.3. We reaffirm the continued relevance of the goals and principles of the ICPD PoA, notably the voluntary and rights-based approach to addressing population and development challenges in Africa as well as the position that promotion and protection of sexual and reproductive rights are essential for the achievement of sustainable development rooted in social and economic justice and economic development as well as environmental sustainability.
1.4. We recognize that a favorable economic environment is one where peace, security, and accountability prevail at all levels. We must stimulate the establishment of enterprise that is indispensable for addressing Africa’s population and reproductive health challenges and advancing inclusive socio-economic development.
1.5. We recognize that poverty, in and of itself, represents a denial of rights, and that eradicating poverty is a moral imperative for the region and a cause which all governments, regional bodies and development partners must prioritize and address in an integrated manner in order to promote the development rights of Africans.
1.6. We reaffirm the Maputo protocol and commit to its domestication and implementation. Countries that have not ratified the Protocol should commit to do so as soon as possible. Countries that are party to it should remove any remaining reservations on the Protocol.
1.7. We recognize that Africa’s population dynamics —rapidly growing population and young age structure due to high fertility, rapid urbanization due to high levels of internal migration and natural increase, rising international migration due to inequities in economic opportunities and increasing regional integration, and changing household and family structures— influence the opportunities for sustainable human development, are shaped by the decisions and actions that people take, and should be integrated in development planning.
1.8. We recognize that the on-going climate change presents unique challenges to Africa given the region’s high levels of poverty and rapid population growth. The key unique challenges include the increasing vulnerability to food insecurity and the worsening of already insecure livelihoods.
1.9. We call on governments and other stakeholders to recommit to the ICPD beyond 2014 Agenda by closing the policy-practice gap,i.e. implementing policies. This will only be possible if governments increase financial and technical investments in the largely known interventions and technologies for addressing Africa’s population and development challenges. In particular, we underscore the importance of strong political will and commitment for the achievement of the ICPD PoA commitments.
2. RECOMMENDED PRIORITY ACTIONS
2.1. We call upon governments, regional bodies and development partners to intensify policy and program actions to enhance the application and further implementation of the ICPD beyond 2014 Agenda along four thematic areas:
2.1.1. Human Security, Environment, Population Mobility
2.1.2. Inclusive Economic transformation
2.1.3. Health and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
2.1.4. Education and Employment
2.2. These priority actions must be guided by:
2.2.1. Human rights, ensuring that all development policies and their implementation respect, protect and fulfill human rights for all.
2.2.2. Accountability and transparency by instituting functional monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to enable open dialogue and evidence-based decision-making.
2.2.3. Partnerships with civil society and communities in the formulation and operationalization of the ICPD PoA Beyond 2014 Agenda.
2.3. Human Security, Environment, and Population Mobility
126.96.36.199. We recognize the efforts of the AU, regional economic communities, governments, CSOs, and partners in the promotion of peace and human security in Africa. However, we are concerned that internal and cross border conflicts remain major sources of insecurity in the region. These are compounded by emerging security threats such as terrorism and drug and human trafficking.
We call upon governments, regional bodies and partners to:
188.8.131.52. Intensify peace-building, conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms within countries and across borders in order to tackle recurring conflicts and preserve human dignity and livelihoods through increased involvement of communities, women, and youth.
184.108.40.206. Enhance provision of relief and related social services to refugees, internally displaced people, and women and girls affected by conflict to ensure that their human rights, including their sexual and reproductive health rights, are fully protected and preserved.
220.127.116.11. Establish mechanisms and systems for prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian situations, conflict and post-conflict settings, and create safe public spaces for women and girls.
18.104.22.168. Reinforce the development and enforcement of laws and programs to end the culture of violence and impunity that is perpetuated by militarization, fundamentalism, patriarchy, and human trafficking.
22.214.171.124. Strengthen local, national and regional justice systems to bring those who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice, including crimes that affect women and their sexual and reproductive health and rights such as rape and forced pregnancy.
126.96.36.199. Ensure food security and strengthen agricultural productivity and livelihoods by: developing irrigation systems, supporting ecological agriculture, halting land-grabbing and securing ownership of land especially for women, and strengthening resilience and capacities to adapt to impacts of climate change and related natural disasters.
2.3.2. Population and Environment
188.8.131.52. We recognize that rapid population growth and high population density can exert immense pressure on the environment and exacerbate depletion of natural resources that the poor mostly depend on for economic survival, especially when communities are not supported to be stewards over their environments, provided with alternative sources of employment and income or guaranteed access to energy. If not well managed, these population dynamics can lead to further civil conflicts over natural resources and undermine efforts to reduce poverty.
184.108.40.206. We recognize that the on-going climate change is presenting Africa with unique challenges because of the region’s high levels of poverty and rapid population growth. This unique vulnerability to the effects of climate change aggravates environmental degradation and depletion of natural resources and undermines food security and efforts to reduce poverty. The result is that millions of people have insecure livelihoods, are vulnerable to food insecurity, and are displaced in their own countries or across borders.
We call upon governments, regional bodies and other partners to:
220.127.116.11. Recognize that sustainable development entails striking a balance between meeting the social, economic, and health needs of current and future generations with environmental protection and preservation of natural resources, and that Africa’s population dynamics influence prospects for sustainable development. All governments and other stakeholders should reinforce integration of population dynamics and the environment at all levels of development planning and program implementation.
18.104.22.168. Strengthen resilience and capacities of countries and communities to adapt to impacts of climate change and related natural disasters by enhancing preservation of natural resources, developing alternative livelihoods that are less dependent on the natural environment (e.g. modernizing agriculture and investing in irrigation to reduce dependency on rain-fed agriculture).
22.214.171.124. Exert pressure on Western countries to reduce their high rate of consumption, which drives production excesses that exacerbate the depletion of the environment in Africa.
126.96.36.199. Promote energy conservation and efficiency and invest in renewable energy, including solar, wind and geothermal energy, as well as time and labor saving technologies.
188.8.131.52. Ensure that resource extraction —such as water use, fishing, logging and mining— meets the needs of communities and is subject to sustainable management, while protecting the rights of fisher-folk, small farm-holders, indigenous people and women.
184.108.40.206. Develop and operationalize legal frameworks to protect livelihoods of poor and marginalized people and avoid environmental disasters, particularly as a result of resource extraction and land-grabbing and deprivation.
220.127.116.11. Allocate sufficient resources towards the generation and promotion of scientific knowledge and strengthening of indigenous traditional capacity for understanding and managing the social and environmental costs and impacts of human activities.
2.3.3. International Migration and Development
18.104.22.168. We commend efforts of the AU and member states in protecting the rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants irrespective of their status. We commend ongoing efforts by the AU, RECs, and governments to streamline engagement with Africans who have migrated to the diaspora in order to optimize benefits that such migration brings to sending countries through remittances and knowledge transfer and minimize the potential negative effects, including loss of highly skilled manpower such as nurses and doctors.
22.214.171.124. We recognize that international migration and temporal mobility of people within Africa is bound to grow as ongoing efforts to enhance regional economic integration get cemented.
126.96.36.199. We recognize that women and girls make up an increasing proportion of migrants from countries in the region, and that while this situation can create opportunities for economic independence and empowerment, it can also lead to exploitation and vulnerability to violence and abuse of girls, women and their families, requiring greater gender sensitivity in all policies and efforts related to migration.
188.8.131.52. We note with concern the increase in human trafficking of children and girls in Africa.
We call upon governments, regional bodies, and partners to:
184.108.40.206. Reinforce efforts to enhance the role of Africans in the diaspora in Africa’s development, and provide opportunities for sharing experiences in maximizing diaspora investments and socio-political participation.
220.127.116.11. Enact national policies and bilateral agreements that protect the human rights of African migrant workers within and outside Africa especially women, in line with ILO conventions.
18.104.22.168. Urgently implement AU Heads of State Decision to remove visa and related restrictions to facilitate the freedom of movement within Africa.
22.214.171.124. Reinforce the development and enforcement of laws and programs to prevent human trafficking.
2.3.4. Internal migration, urbanization and economic development
126.96.36.199. We note that despite having the lowest levels of urbanization globally, African countries are urbanizing rapidly and that by 2035, more than half of all African people will live in urban areas. Rapid urbanization is caused by migration of mainly young adults from rural to urban areas, high number of births occurring to urban residents, and expansion of urban boundaries.
188.8.131.52. However, we note with concern that the majority of urban residents in most African countries live in abject poverty in informal settlements where they lack secure jobs and livelihoods, descent housing, and basic amenities and social services, including health and reproductive health.
184.108.40.206. We also note with concern that the poor transport infrastructure and other public facilities in many African cities is one of the major causes of low economic productivity. Furthermore, erratic energy supply, which is getting worse with global warming, undermines industrial productivity.
We call upon governments to fully optimize the potential of urbanization as an engine of socioeconomic transformation and economic development by:
220.127.116.11. Promote rural development to reduce rural-urban migration and improve urban planning, governance and infrastructure to enhance the role of urbanization in socioeconomic development.
18.104.22.168. Facilitating development of descent housing for the poor and ensuring provision of basic social services and amenities, including health care, reproductive health services, and education.
22.214.171.124. Facilitating investment in industries that would create enough quality jobs and livelihoods for the rapidly growing urban population.
126.96.36.199. Prioritizing development of efficient transport systems (e.g. mass transit systems) and other productive infrastructure and energy in order to enhance the role of cities and other urban areas in engineering economic productivity.
188.8.131.52. Enacting policies that protect migrant workers and create an enabling environment for them to enjoy their human rights, especially for women migrant domestic workers, including monitoring and inspection measures in line with applicable International Labour Organization conventions and other instruments.
2.4. Inclusive Economic Transformation
2.4.1. Inclusive economic transformation is one which reaches all economic sectors and benefits all population segments. It enables people to fully participate, influence as well as benefit from the economic system regardless of age, sex or socio-economic status. In an inclusive economic transformation process, the economic systems and policies are grounded in the Human Rights framework.
2.4.2. Governance and Accountability
184.108.40.206. We appreciate AU and government efforts in improving governance and instituting process that aim to entrench democracy in Africa. We note the improvement in information dissemination due to rapid growth of private media, mobile communication, and the Internet. However, while transparency has improved reasonably, we note with concern that accountability remains a major challenge in management of public resources and delivery of social services in Africa.
220.127.116.11. We affirm the importance of strengthening the capacity and role of the State in strategic planning and implementation of development programs from a long-term perspective. We also affirm the critical importance of participatory forms of governance and the strategic involvement of civil society and communities in order to entrench democracy and enhance accountability.
We call upon governments, regional bodies and partners to:
18.104.22.168. Strengthen governance, political and economic systems that are grounded in the Human Rights framework, integrity and accountability in use of public resources and service delivery, inclusiveness and investment in human development.
22.214.171.124. Enact laws that strengthen the capacity of communities to access, control and manage land, energy, technology and information, especially for women, youth, persons with disabilities, and indigenous people.
126.96.36.199. Develop and enact national policies and laws to ensure that trade and investment agreements with multinationals, foreign governments, and local companies are transparent, strategic, and prevent exploitative business practices and capital flight, and maximize benefits to African countries and local communities.
2.4.3. Demographic Dividend and Economic Growth
188.8.131.52. We appreciate the development transformation underway in Africa, which is demonstrated by steady economic growth in many countries over the past decade, development of infrastructure, increased direct foreign investment, growth of information and communication technology, energy and mining, and in the establishment of mechanisms for peace, stability, and conflict resolution.
184.108.40.206. However, we note with concern that the economic growth is not resulting in substantial poverty reduction and mass creation of secure jobs that pay a living monthly wage. Consequently, most working age people are unemployed or underemployed, especially women and youth.
220.127.116.11. We note that while Africa’s high fertility and the resulting high dependency burden is a major hindrance to socioeconomic and sustainable development, African countries can reap a demographic dividend from this demographic profile if they can facilitate rapid decline in fertility, enhance the quality of their human capital through investments in public health and education, and adopt economic policies that will help create enough jobs for the surplus labor force.
For Africa to seize the Demographic Dividend, we call upon governments, regional bodies and partners to:
18.104.22.168. Maximize Africa’s chances of harnessing the Demographic Dividend by ensuring universal access to family planning and other reproductive health services, empowerment of women, investments in education and public health, and economic reforms that facilitate savings, investment and promotion of industries that reinforce value addition, create quality jobs, with particular attention to job creation and livelihood opportunities for women and youth.
22.214.171.124. Institute and extend social protection mechanisms to safeguard the wellbeing of vulnerable groups by recognizing and rewarding women for their role in taking care of the children, the sick, the elderly, persons with disability, and other disadvantaged people, among other mechanisms.
126.96.36.199. Strengthen the capacity of local experts and institutions to generate the evidence that is required for decision-makers to understand the demographic dividend concept and adopt locally relevant policies that would enable their countries to harness the demographic dividend.
188.8.131.52. Nevertheless, we caution governments and other development stakeholders against using the demographic dividend paradigm to prioritize achievement of demographic targets at the expense of the voluntary and rights-based approach to addressing population challenges that underpin the ICPD PoA. We strongly affirm the ICPD principle that preserves the right of couples to decide freely and without coercion when they want to have children and how many children to have.
2.5. Health and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
2.5.1. Health and Morbidity
184.108.40.206. We recognize governments for the progress they have made in addressing the region’s major health challenges, including HIV/AIDS, child mortality, TB, and Malaria. We also commend governments that have expressly recognized health as a human right for their citizens.
220.127.116.11. However, we note with grave concern that maternal deaths remain unacceptably high. These major health challenges are being compounded by the emerging challenge of non-communicable diseases (including new HIV infections especially among adolescents), a situation that requires governments to increase their investments in health in line with their 15% (of national budgets) commitment in the Abuja Declaration. We note with concern that most governments are falling far short of this commitment. Of the limited investments in health, very negligible allocations are made to SRH.
18.104.22.168. While some progress has been made in strengthening health systems, huge challenges remain including insufficient and inadequately skilled workforce, frequent stock outs of key medicines and lack of infrastructure and supplies for treating patients. Health care is largely inaccessible or unaffordable to many people, particularly the poor, rural populations, people with disabilities, adolescent girls, out of school youth, sex workers, migrants, displaced populations, indigenous people, people living with HIV, the elderly and LGBTIQ.
In order to decisively improve health outcomes in the region, we call upon governments, regional bodies and partners to:
22.214.171.124. Operationalize the right to health by adopting equity and rights-based planning and resource-allocation, facilitating community participation in health decision-making and programming, and educating healthcare providers and communities on what the right to health means in service provision.
126.96.36.199. Increase investments in health in line with their commitment in the Abuja declaration.
188.8.131.52. Improve information and research on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and mental health, and develop policies, programs, and services for addressing the challenges posed by non-communicable diseases, including proper screening, management and control of non- communicable diseases.
184.108.40.206. Train, equip and resource health care providers from the community to tertiary care level to be able to provide high quality care and effectively meet people’s health needs.
220.127.116.11. Institute innovative community/national health insurance programs that ensure access to health-care for all regardless of their financial ability.
18.104.22.168. Reinforce progress in reducing child mortality by ensuring the universal availability and accessibility of immunization services for all children; elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV, and access to essential medicines and technologies for treatment and prevention of main childhood killers, including malaria.
22.214.171.124. Remove all obstacles, including payment of fees, for women seeking medical attention during pregnancy and ensure free or subsidized care for those in need and those most vulnerable especially rural based women.
126.96.36.199. Develop and strengthen regulatory authorities in the health care sector and develop and implement accountability mechanisms that address violations of the human right to health.
188.8.131.52. Include communities and CSOs as an integral part of the national health system including but not confined to health planning and resource allocation, promotion and service delivery, and engage communities in systems strengthening efforts.
2.5.2. Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
184.108.40.206. Realizing sexual and reproductive health and rights refers to a state in which countries enable universal access to quality and integrated SRH services including adequate counseling, information and education; access to full range of acceptable, affordable, safe, effective and high-quality modern contraceptives of choice, comprehensive maternity care, access to safe abortion care, prevention and treatment of infertility, STIs, and reproductive cancers; and the protection from sexual and gender-based violence, among others.
220.127.116.11. We reaffirm that the human right to sexual and reproductive health is indivisible and inalienable, and that the promotion and protection of sexual and reproductive rights are essential for the achievement of social justice and economic development.
18.104.22.168. We note with concern that progress in enabling the realization of SRHR has been very slow in many countries and that many African countries will not achieve their health MDGs, particularly MDG5 on maternal health and sexual and reproductive health. Yet, over three quarters of maternal deaths can be prevented through access to family planning, antenatal care, and safe maternity services, including emergency obstetric care and comprehensive abortion care.
22.214.171.124. We note that although family planning is a proven intervention for reducing maternal deaths, improving child survival, empowering women, enhancing environmental conservation, and boosting overall economic development, its use remains low in Africa. About 58 million women who wish to delay or stop child-bearing are not able to use modern contraceptives and risk having unplanned pregnancies due to lack of contraceptive services, child marriage and a range of cultural, religious, and psychosocial factors.
126.96.36.199. We note that access to SRH information and services is particularly low for adolescents, young people and women, and results in high rates of maternal deaths, teenage pregnancy, school dropout and HIV infection and unsafe abortion among young women. Other uniquely vulnerable groups that require special attention at policy and program levels are people with disabilities, PLWHIV, the elderly, sex workers, people in conflict and post-conflict settings, and those in hard-to-reach areas, rural populations, and people in same sex relationships. We also note with concern that SRH programs have not effectively incorporated and reached out to men, who are key in tackling SRH challenges.
We call upon governments, regional bodies and partners to:
188.8.131.52. Prioritize and adequately finance universal access to comprehensive, quality and integrated SRH services including adequate counselling, information and education; access to full range of acceptable, affordable, safe, effective and high-quality contraceptives of choice, comprehensive maternity care, access to comprehensive abortion care, prevention and treatment of infertility, STIs, reproductive cancers and other diseases.
184.108.40.206. Repeal laws criminalizing access to safe abortion in line with the provisions of Article 14 of the Maputo Protocol.
220.127.116.11. Create awareness and ensure that the right to SRH for all people including marginalized groups is respected and that health care providers are trained to provide services that are free from stigma, coercion, discrimination and violence, and respects human rights, including the right to confidentiality, privacy, informed consent, and bodily integrity.
18.104.22.168. Remove existing barriers, including requirements for spousal and parental consent, to women and young people gaining access to family planning, comprehensive abortion care, and other reproductive health services.
22.214.171.124. Implement the Maputo Plan of Action commitment to allocate 15% of the health budget to family planning and address all demand and supply oriented barriers of access to, and use of family planning.
126.96.36.199. Implement and fully fund, quality, evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education programmes that provide accurate information on human sexuality, gender equality, human rights, relationships, and sexual and reproductive health for both in and out-of-school youth that is relevant to each specific age group.
188.8.131.52. Strengthen male involvement as advocates, clients and equal partners on SRHR, including in the promotion of gender equality and SRHR of women and girls.
184.108.40.206. Reinforce efforts to reduce delivery by unskilled birth attendants by enhancing referral mechanisms between communities and unskilled healthcare workers with the formal healthcare system.
2.5.3. Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
220.127.116.11. We appreciate efforts that the AU and governments have made towards improving gender equality and empowerment of women in Africa, demonstrated by increased school enrolment and completion for girls, increased representation of women in leadership roles and government positions, and increased efforts to address traditional practices that undermine the status and rights of women.
18.104.22.168. However, we note with concern that the status of African women and their role in decision-making remains very low, and consequently girls and women continue to bear the disproportionate burden of poor sexual and reproductive health (particularly HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality, reproductive cancers, and frequent childbearing), cultural practices that lead to early marriage, and lack of access to productive resources such as land, property and inheritance rights and gender-based violence.
22.214.171.124. We remind governments that gender inequality remains a major inhibitor of inclusive economic transformation and a major cause of poor SRH outcomes for girls and women. We affirm that enabling the voices and interests of all men, women, and communities is essential in order to advance towards sustainable development.
126.96.36.199. We also note with concern that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is gaining momentum in the region and some governments are institutionalizing such discrimination in their legal frameworks.
To address these issues, we urge governments, regional bodies and partners to:
188.8.131.52. Demonstrate political will, leadership and commitment towards achieving gender equality and empowerment of girls and women, including through establishing and enforcing societal affirmative action that promotes gender equality in all spheres of life such as in the labor market, political representation, decision-making on design and implementation of development programs, and access to capital, land and credit facilities; mainstreaming of gender in multi-sectoral development planning and program implementation; and increasing the mobilization and allocation of financial resources for implementation of these programs.
184.108.40.206. Enact and/or enforce laws that address the high rates of sexual and gender-based violence, including marital rape and intimate partner violence. Such efforts should involve the strengthening of institutional responses on access to justice in the form of compensations and incorporation of measures to prevent double victimization, and the strengthening of existing institutional structures to effectively implement the laws and policies.
220.127.116.11. Establish and/or enforce legal and institutional framework that protects the rights of women and girls from harmful traditional practices such as inability to inherit property, female genital mutilation and child marriages, and demonstrate political leadership by advocating for an end to these and other cultural and religious norms and beliefs that legitimate women’s subordination and marginalization.
18.104.22.168. Provide comprehensive sexuality and life skills education at early levels for all children, adolescents and youth to promote empowerment of both girls and boys as a means to promoting equality, equity and empowerment, and ensuring boys and men also play a role in realizing equality for women.
22.214.171.124. Expand decision-making opportunities for women by ensuring their meaningful participation in all stages of design, monitoring and implementation of sexual and reproductive rights policies and programs at national, regional and international levels.
126.96.36.199. Fully implement international commitments (i.e. CEDAW, the Maputo Protocol and UN SCR 1320) to protect women and girls from all forms of violence.
188.8.131.52. Establish mechanisms and systems for prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian situations, conflict and post-conflict settings, and create safe public spaces for women and girls.
184.108.40.206. Develop and ensure full implementation and enforcement of policies and programs to prevent and address all forms of school based violence including violence perpetrated against young girls, persons with disabilities and persons with diverse sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, people living with HIV and other marginalized persons.
220.127.116.11. Promote the inclusion of girls and women with disabilities, the poor, and other marginalized groups in education, employment and political representation through specific interventions targeting them.
2.6. Education and Employment
2.6.1. We commend governments for the progress in improving school enrolment in primary schools, especially in reducing disparities between boys and girls. However, quality of basic education and infrastructure remains a major challenge particularly for persons living with disabilities, the rural and urban poor, and other marginalized communities.
2.6.2. We note that progression to secondary school and to tertiary institutions is low, and big gender gaps persist at these levels in most countries. We note that one of the main reasons why girls drop out of school early is teenage pregnancies and early marriage. We also note that comprehensive sexuality and life-skills education has not been scaled up in many countries, and the education systems are not effective in developing innovation and other productive skills that the continent needs to develop. We also note that bullying including cyber bullying due to real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity is a growing threat resulting in young people dropping out of school early.
2.6.3. We note with concern that the education system is more focused on preparing students to pass exams rather developing skills that they need to be productive, innovative, strategic, and principles workers, employers, and leaders. Furthermore, the education system is very weak in developing technological skills that the continent needs in order to industrialize and modernize its agricultural sector.
2.6.4. We note with concern the high levels of unemployment and underemployment, particularly among youth and women, and that this challenge will get worse as the working age population continues to grow due to high levels of fertility in the past if decisive action is not taken to ensure sustained creation of good jobs in Africa.
To address these issues, we call on governments, regional bodies and partners to:
2.6.5. Reform and harmonise formal and non-formal education systems and curricula to ensure quality education that fosters innovation, development of productive skills, spirit of entrepreneurship, and visionary leadership that meets emerging needs of local and global economies and enhance young people’s role as agents of socioeconomic development.
2.6.6. Ensure universal enrolment, retention, and progression at primary, secondary and tertiary levels and close inequities relating to gender, geography and socio-economic status particularly for pregnant girls, the rural and urban poor, persons with disabilities, young people in conflict situations, those living with HIV, and other marginalized communities.
2.6.7. Develop and fully implement policies and programs to prevent and address all forms of school-based violence including violence perpetrated against young girls, persons with disabilities, persons living with HIV, and persons with diverse sexual orientation and gender identities.
2.6.8. Scale up comprehensive sexuality education and other relevant life-skills programs in school and college curricula beginning from primary school, as well as in non-formal schools. Such programs must be linked to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health information, commodities and services. These programs should be administered within a rights framework and not enforce stereotypes, prejudices and discriminatory information on sexual minorities, and should promote equality and empowerment of girls, and ensure boys and men play a role in realizing equality for women.
2.6.9. Recognize the need for, and provide, psychosocial support and SRH information and services to women, adolescents and youth in conflict and post-conflict areas and young people who are experiencing bullying in schools due to their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.
2.6.10. Ensure relevance of education that includes promoting technical, vocational education and training programs, making use of new information, communication technologies, and one that is applicable to current labour market trends and demands.
2.6.11. Intensify efforts to create employment, alternative livelihoods and enhance the civil and political participation for young people and their role as agents of socioeconomic change and development.
2.6.12. Create favorable conditions for the establishment of local enterprises and industries including putting in place favorable taxation systems, which will create employment by investing in the infrastructure and energy, water, communication and transport sectors.
2.6.13. Support design and scale up of best practices on creation of employment and business opportunities for youth, including supporting youth entrepreneurship by enhancing skill development training, providing tax incentives for youth-owned businesses and providing comprehensive training and mentoring programs to promote innovative business models.
2.6.14. Support the informal sector, which is the biggest employer of youth and women, to develop into formal through enhancement of skills, and injecting financial capital to enable the sector produce quality products and in bulk.
2.7. Monitoring and Transparency
2.7.1. We reaffirm the vital role of gathering data and information on the implementation of ICPD Beyond 2014 Agenda to ensure transparent monitoring and accountability processes. We call for the strengthening of national statistical capacity to enable the undertaking of evidence-based analysis and the conducting of sound monitoring and evaluation programs.
To improve research, monitoring and evaluation systems, use of data for decision-making and overall accountability mechanisms, we urge governments and other development stakeholders to:
2.7.2. Ensure that monitoring and accountability mechanisms adopt a systemic and sustained human rights approach, provide effective remedies and redress to rights holders when sexual and reproductive rights are violated, and lead to the constant improvement of existing programs and policies.
2.7.3. Increase transparency through open dialogue between government, civil society and policy organs, by creating more opportunities to discuss pertinent development issues, national responses and challenges surrounding the attainment of universal access to SRH and health services on the continent.
2.7.4. Improve systems for collection, analysis, and use of both community and facility based data to ensure that targeted and evidence based policies are developed, implemented and then closely monitored and evaluated for necessary adjustments.
2.7.5. Improve the capacity of independent national, regional and continental experts and institutions for strategic citizen watch for the ICPD Beyond 2014 Agenda and objectives and other issues of SRHR, including peer review mechanisms.
2.7.6. Ensure routine monitoring of inequalities in access to sexual and reproductive health information and services for vulnerable people through regular collection and analysis of quality data, and institution of formal mechanisms for addressing service gaps with the full involvement of service providers and civil society organizations.
2.7.7. Strengthen inter-country and inter-sector collaboration, learning and sharing within regional and sub-regional mechanisms of best practices and lessons learned policy formulation, resource allocation, service provision, transparency and accountability.
2.8. Resource Mobilization and Partnerships
2.8.1. We reaffirm the importance of international cooperation, including South-South, North-South and triangular cooperation, in the implementation of the ICPD Beyond 2014 Agenda.
2.8.2. We call for full incorporation of civil society and other stakeholders and communities in the formulation and operationalization of the ICPD Beyond 2014 Agenda as well as the MDGs post-2015 Agenda.
2.8.3. We urge governments and development partners to increase their budgetary allocations and efficiency in use of existing resources for the implementation of their commitments to the ICPD Beyond 2014 Agenda by:
18.104.22.168. Implementing the 15% of national budget allocated to health commitment made in Abuja.
22.214.171.124. Implementing the 15% of health budget allocated to family planning commodities commitment made in Maputo PoA.
126.96.36.199. Mobilizing other non-governmental funding sources through cooperation with international partners where deemed good practice.
188.8.131.52. Improving monitoring and evaluation and financial controls of existing budgets and expenditures.
 Rapidly growing population and young age structure, rapid urbanization, rising international migration and population mobility, and changing household and family structures
 Such as rural populations, persons with disabilities, adolescent girls, out of school youth, sex workers, migrants, displaced populations, indigenous people, people living with HIV, older people and people of different sexual orientations and gender identities.