Monday 30 January 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The IPPF Africa Region Director Mr. Lucien Kouakou today paid a visit to the IPPF Member Association in Ethiopia –Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). During his visit, Mr. Kouakou met with FGAE members of staff including the Executive Director Ms. Genet Mengistu, whom he congratulated for their remarkable work in providing quality sexual reproductive health services to millions of Ethiopians.
Mr. Kouakou, who is in the capital city of Addis Ababa attending activities around the 28th AU Summit, encouraged the members of staff to carry on with their commendable work.
“We are proud of FGAE. Just last year, the organization celebrated 50 years of exemplary service and success in Ethiopia. FGAE is recognized as the pioneer organization for the introduction of family planning in the country, and five decades later, it is one of the leading providers of comprehensive, integrated, quality and gender-sensitive sexual reproductive health programs and services focusing on youth, underserved and vulnerable populations in Ethiopia. In addition, the success of FGAE’s Learning Center, which works closely with the Government and other partners in building the capacity of healthcare providers in Ethiopia through provision of needs-based quality sexual reproductive health training, is admirable. Indeed, the laudable success of FGAE is to be emulated not only in Ethiopia, but across Africa,” he said.
Mr. Kouakou also assured FGAE of IPPF’s continued technical, financial and material support in regards to achievements of the organization’s goals. He further encouraged the Member Association to strive to establish and maintain formidable partnerships with other development stakeholders in the country, among them the Government, international, regional and national organizations, as well as local grassroots entities.
“If we are to achieve our goals for sustainable development, then we must embrace the partnership of other organizations that share in our vision and the vision of ‘the Africa we Want’. When organizations work together, then they are able to accelerate development goals of the country and the continent, he said.
The Regional Director further encouraged the Member Association to step up its efforts in resource mobilization, especially from domestic sources.
“The African continent must steer its own development. We have to drive our own development agenda by investing our resources into innovative development-driven initiatives. Funding our own programmes will help avert some of the challenges that many development institutions face today –such as dwindling international donor funds or complete cut-back of funds. It is time for Africa to support Africa’s development through ventures such as domestic funding,” he said.
In July last year, IPPF Africa Region launched the African Citizens Initiative (ACI) for sexual and reproductive health, which is a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that aligns with the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 commitment to the principle of self-reliance as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The FGAE Executive Director, Ms. Genet Mengistu reiterated FGAE’s commitment to serving millions of Ethiopian men, women, youth and children through its unmatched services. She further reiterated the Regional Director’s call for the establishment of strategic partnerships with other development players towards the achievement of the organization’s goals.
“We will endeavor to seek more partnerships at all levels, as this will help boost the delivery of our wide range of services.
While in Addis Ababa, among key meetings that the Regional Director has participated in is the Forum of African Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FPA) side event, in which he called for more investment in family planning, girls and young people in the realization of harnessing the demographic dividend. He also called on African Parliamentarians to deliver on their commitments to the Dakar Declaration, in their capacity as key influencers.
“Parliamentarians have the ability to influence their colleagues to push for the support and implementation of policies and legislations, especially those related to youth, health, population and development. They can call for more budgetary allocation to related Ministries such as those of Youth, Gender and Social Affairs, Health, Education Planning and Development, as well as other institutions that focus on the youth and their reproductive health. They can also take the lead in seeking innovative ways of mobilizing resources at the local level that would champion population and related issues. Seeking African solutions to African problems through domestic funding is one way to realizing Africa’s development, and we count on our Parliamentarians to champion this cause,” he said.
Read the full article here: African Parliamentarians are Key to the Realization of the Demographic Dividend
Story by Maryanne W. Waweru.