Statement from FPA President, Hon. Ms. Marie Rose Nguini Effa, Member of Parliament, Cameroon, CEMAC Parliamentary Assembly, Pan-African Parliament.
The African Forum on Population and Development (FPA) strives to tackle issues regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights head on; to pave the way for a brighter future for Africa’s women and girls, where every individual has access to the healthcare, the education, and the tools they need to take back control of their own bodies and lives. We aim to engage politicians across the wider African community to educate and encourage African governments to respond to their citizens’ call for empowerment and to respect their sexual and reproductive rights.
Everything is urgent for us in Africa and we must address many issues regarding family planning – maternal health, traditional harmful practices including female genital mutilation (FGM/C) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM). A woman’s right to control her own fertility is now recognised as a key objective when it comes to promoting global development. Improving access to sexual and reproductive health saves lives, and this cannot be belittled.
One of the main challenges facing in Africa today is the imperative to empower its largest ever young population and to provide them with opportunities to realise their full potential. This calls for crucial and sustainable investments into young people’s needs – their healthcare, their education – and of course, ensuring that they have access to modern contraception to allow them to take charge of their own futures. All of this will contribute to the realization of the African Union Agenda 2063.
Our role as parliamentarians is therefore of great importance. The voice we have gives us an unmatched responsibility to spread awareness on these vital issues within our political parties, our parliamentary groups and as well as our constituencies and regions. We must fiercely and persistently encourage our governments to take action and invite our co-citizens to engage with us.
Overall, FPA aspires to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. We welcome the collaboration and support of any African political party or organisation dedicated to population and development, to join us on this venture toward zero unmet need for family planning; zero maternal death; and zero violence and harmful practices against women and girls.