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UNFPA, NPA sign new partnership to accelerate family planning uptake

19 March 2018
UNFPA Representative Mr. Alain Sibenaler (R) and Executive Director NPA Mr Joseph Muvawala sign the partnership agreement in Kampala. PHOTO: UNFPA/ Evelyn Matsamura Kiapi

UNFPA Uganda and the National Authority have signed a new partnership for implementation of programmes that ensure population issues are at the centre of planning and budgeting processes. This, to make sure that issues of young people in Uganda are addressed to accelerate achievement of the Demographic Dividend and achieve Vision 2040.

In a brief ceremony that took place at NPA offices in Kampala March 16, Representative Mr. Alain Sibenaler signed on behalf of UNFPA, while Executive Director Mr Joseph Muvawala signed on behalf of NPA.

Chairperson of NPA Dr Kisamba Mugerwa welcomed the partnership saying it is in the best interest of Uganda’s population and targeted plans to attain a middle-income status by 2040, adding that advocacy efforts towards reducing fertility to achieve the demographic dividend are visibly paying off.

“When we launched the Vision 2040 plan in 2013, we projected that the fertility would reduce to four children per woman. However, today, more people are saying four children are too many. Ten years has made an impact with our campaigns for the girl child education and preventing teenage pregnancy. We have a big middle class who are now saying maintaining four children is not easy,” he said.

With a population of 34.6 million (Census, 2014) and a growth rate of 3 percent per annum, Uganda has the third fastest growing population in the World. Half of the population is below the age of 15, creating a high child dependency ratio that places a heavy burden on the working age population at household level, hindering investment and subsequently affecting economic growth. The very young age structure is because of high fertility rate, standing at 5.4 children per woman. Many women of reproductive age would appreciate an option to limit, delay or space the number of their children but do not have the means to do so. Twenty eight per cent of women who would like to use a modern form of contraception do not have access.

According to the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, (UDHS, 2016), 25 percent of girls age 15-19 have either given birth or are pregnant with their first child. Uganda’s Vision 2040 recognizes that if unchecked, the country’s high fertility and resultant high population growth rate and unfavorable age structure can become hurdles in the realization of a middle-income status by 2040.

As highlighted by ‘The Reduce High Fertility and Improve Sexual Reproductive Health Outcomes in Uganda’ (RISE) programme, Uganda considers family planning as an essential component in its development agenda to achieve this vision. Investment in family planning is therefore one of the critical pillars to open the window of opportunity for harnessing the demographic dividend.

In partnership with the United Kingdom, UNFPA and other stakeholders are also supporting Government of Uganda to fulfill its commitment to accelerate up-take of modern contraceptives through strengthening of the Health System to address gaps in quality and access to family planning information and services, including among young people and hard-to-reach communities.

“This is big. With ours and support from the United Kingdom, Uganda, through its National Planning Authority, will make sure demographic dimensions are integrated in national and districts budgets,” said Mr Sibenaler.

The partnership will NPA will also ensure equal opportunities and reduce inequalities at all level ensuring that no one is left behind. 

-Written by Evelyn Kiapi, Florence Tagoola and Catherine Mbabazi