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The 8th African Population Conference opens in Entebbe, Uganda

19 November 2019
UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Natalia Kanem delivering a key note speech at the opening of the 8th Africa Population Conference in Entebbe, Uganda. PHOTO: UNFPA/ Evelyn Matsamura Kiapi

Entebbe, Uganda, 18 November 2019: The 8th African Population Conference under the theme: “Harnessing Africa’s Population Dynamics for Sustainable Development – 25 years after Cairo and beyond” opened in Entebbe, November 18.  Organized by the Union of African Population Scientists with support from UNFPA and other partners, the conference runs through the week of 18 to 22 November, 2019.

In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, Member States demanded a specific target (SDG Target 17.18) on data. It emphasized the need for high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts.

“This is critical because Population data are needed for 98 of the SDG targets, and only where governments can generate subnational population projections can we anticipate the future in all its diversity,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director at the opening of the Conference.

“The Union of African Population Scientists has an important role in ensuring that this SDG 17 target is met.  As the leading population scientists on the continent, the Union of African Population Scientists you have the personal leverage and position to tackle this, and UNFPA stands in partnership with you,” Dr. Kanem added.

In a statement read by the Vice President of Uganda, H.E. Edward Ssekandi, President Yoweri Museveni called for accelerated investment in human capital development across Africa to improve the quality of the continent’s population.

For many countries, the census is the primary source of data for development.  UNFPA’s assistance, along with support from the UN Statistics Division and other development partners, has improved capacity of national statistical offices and other line ministries involved in the production of data, as well as its availability and use. UNFPA supports population census, civil registration and legal identity worldwide to ensure that everyone is counted and no one is left behind.

- Compiled by Prossy Nakanjako Jonker