Workshop on the Implementation of the MPOA, Addis Ababa, 13-14th December 2012

Workshop Concept Note:

A. Introduction

Less than five years from the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, the African continent still faces great challenges in achieving MDGs 4, 5 and 6 on Women and Children’s Health including Sexual and Reproductive Health across board. Despite that global and African reproductive and sexual health including MNCH (Maternal, Newborn and Child Health) indices have improve, overall progress in Africa remains insufficient, with Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality rates remaining the highest in the world.


National, regional and global efforts to improve women and children’s health have increased exponentially since the Millennium Declaration in 2000, and yielded an unprecedented amount of political commitment. The 2nd Ordinary Session of the Conference of African Ministers of Health, meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, in October 2005, adopted the Continental Policy Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights which was endorsed by AU Heads of State in January 2006 to further strengthen the capacity of Member states to address challenges to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights as strategy to facilitate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. In 2009 Health Ministers met under the theme of Universal Access to Quality Health Services: Improving Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health, and with the African Union Commission (AUC) launched the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal & Child Mortality  (CARMMA); in July 2010 the AU Kampala Heads of States Summit focused on the theme of MNCH.


The Continental Policy Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights addresses the reproductive health and rights challenges faced by Africa. It addresses health sector strengthening, gender mainstreaming, and SRH commodity security. The AU Ministers of Health posited that SRH should be among the highest six priorities of the health sector. The AU Health Ministers further articulated a concrete, costed Plan of Action (POA) for implementing the Framework which was endorsed by the Summit of the Heads of State and Government in Khartoum, Sudan, in January 2007.


This Maputo Plan of Action for the Operationalisation of the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Continental Policy Framework seeks to take the continent forward towards the goal of universal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services in Africa by 2015. It is a short term plan built on nine action areas: Integration of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services into PHC, repositioning family planning, developing and promoting youth-friendly services, reducing unsafe abortion, quality safe motherhood, resource mobilization, commodity security and monitoring and evaluation.


The Plan is premised on SRH in its fullest context as defined at ICPD/PoA 1994 taking into account the life cycle approach. These elements of SRHR includes Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH); Safe Motherhood and newborn care; Safe Abortion Care; Family planning; Prevention and Management of Sexually Transmitted Infections including HIV/AIDS; Prevention and Management of Infertility; Prevention and Management of Cancers of the Reproductive System; Addressing mid-life concerns of men and women; Health and Development; the Reduction of Gender-based Violence; Interpersonal Communication and Counselling; and Health education.


The Plan learns from best practices and cost-effective interventions and responds to vulnerability in all its forms, from gender inequality, to rural living and the youth, to specific vulnerable groups such as displaced persons, migrants and refugees. It recognizes the importance of creating an enabling environment, supportive community and women’s empowerment and the role of men.


In consonance with the declaration of the AU Assembly in Kampala 2010, a status update on MNCH highlighting the status of the essential elements of the MPOA was presented to the July 2012 Summit of the AU.


Therefore it is important that efforts are in place to ensure synergy between the various activities of the relevant AUC departments as well as interfacing with the missions of the AU Member states to facilitate a collective and cohesive effort to enhance the implementation of the essential elements of the MPoA.


See the programme: PROVISIONAL programme_MPOA workshop_final


  1. B. Participants

The workshop is expected to bring together a range of key stakeholders as follows:

  • AUC officials;
  • Officers of the Mission of AU Members States;
  • Selected Civil Society Organizations;
  • Select donor organizations and development partners;
  • Representatives of Regional Economic Communities;

  1. C. Objectives

The overall objectives of this activity include;

  • Review the key policy deficiencies that hinder the improvement in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) on the continent;
  • Highlight and discuss the SRHR challenges of select high risk groups;
  • Recommend actions and policy revisions that will create the enabling environment for promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) on the continent;

  1. D. Structure:

The discussions will be done through didactic sessions in plenary which will present the evidence to stimulate extensive discussions and encourage participation of all relevant stakeholders.


  1. E. Language, Dates and Venue

The Meetings will be conducted in all the AU official languages English, Arabic, Portuguese and French.


  1. F. Reference /Working documents:
  • Continental Policy Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights;
  • Maputo Plan of Action (MPoA);
  • Aligned MPoA indicators;
  1. G. Logistics

The workshop is scheduled for the 13th and 14th December 2012 in Addis Ababa, the  exact venue will be communicated in due course.



Additional information could be obtained from the following:

Dr Ademola Olajide

Head of Division; Health, Nutrition and Population

Dept of Social Affairs

African Union Commission

P O Box 3243

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia













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