The Union for African Population Studies (UAPS)

The Union for African Population Studies (UAPS)

The Union for African Population Studies (UAPS) is a Pan-African non profit scientific organization. Established through the initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) by the Third General Conference of African Demographers, Statisticians and Planners held in Addis Ababa in March 1984, in order to promote the scientific study of population in Africa.

For the UAPS Membership
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The Seventh African Population Conference
November 30 – December 4, 2015

The Seventh African Population Conference (7th APC) was jointly organised and hosted by the national Department of Social Development, through its National Population Unit, Statistics South Africa and the Union for African Population Studies (UAPS).

UAPS is a Pan-African not-for-profit organisation, established in 1984, to promote the scientific study of population and the application of research evidence in development planning in Africa. The mission of UAPS is to contribute to the development of Africa, by enhancing networking and capacities of professionals to generate, communicate and use evidence-based information on population to enrich policy-making and planning in various sectors.

The theme for the 7th APC that took place in South Africa was Demographic Dividends in Africa: Prospects, Opportunities and Challenges As part of the proceedings of the weeklong conference, the day of 2 December 2015 has been allocated to South Africa, and is referred to as South Africa Day. This event offered the Government of South Africa, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, and other local stakeholders an opportunity to interact, network and showcase research evidence generated in the country.

African Population Conference Declaration: Seventh African Population Conference Tshwane Declaration

After five days of intense discussions and debate on diverse themes and issues bordering on the prospects, opportunities and challenges of Africa harnessing her youthful population to reap THE benefits of the built-in demographic dividend, in thematic sessions, We, the participants of the 7th African Population Conference in Pretoria, South Africa which took place between November 30 and December 4, 2015 on the theme “Demographic Dividend in Africa: Prospects, Opportunities and
Challenges”.

1. Noting with great satisfaction, the efforts of the Government of South Africa through its Department of Social Development, and Statistics South Africa [StatsSA], and other stakeholders, in providing excellent conducive environment for hosting this conference;
2. Noting the demographic shifts (transition) taking place in Africa, the “youthening” of the population, which provides an opening of a window of opportunity for harnessing the benefit of growing population of young people;
3. Desirous to share our research findings to policy makers for the purpose of evidence-based planning for national development;
4. Having discussed and analysed numerous empirical evidences on the prospects, opportunities and challenges of achieving and harnessing the demographic dividend in Africa,
5. Noting the challenges of achieving this dividend such as high level of unemployment, high number of out-of-school youth, social, economic and legal obstacles to access to sexual and reproductive health particularly among young people hi, corruption, political instability in some of the African states;,
6. Recognising the importance of sexual, reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health services as well as the importance of male participation in these programmes and services

Do thereby
i. Reaffirm the imperative of African governments and institutions to be fully committed to the implementation of all global and regional consensus on population and development issues, especially the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development in Africa Beyond 2014
ii. Call on African governments to create an enabling environment through enactment or amendment of relevant laws, policies for children, adolescents, youth, women and men across the life course to realise their potential and rights;
iii. Urge African governments to accord the highest priority to improved investment in the demographic dividend by investing in quality education, health, skills development, employment for inclusive economic participation,
iv. Encourage governments to take their steps to empower their citizens to freely decide on their fertility and reproductive health choices by setting up policy frameworks that respect and promote human rights and freedom;
v. Call for increased effort to mobilise domestic resources from within by reducing undue dependence on foreign aid and block resource leakages in Africa.
vi. Call on African governments to make the right human capital investments and adopt appropriate policies that expand opportunities for young people by;
Investing on young people’s schooling and health to improve their well-being but also their productivity and earning
Investing in preventing health services to reduce exposure to infectious and parasitic diseases
Expanding livelihoods and employment opportunities and, improve access to financial services for young people and
Promoting good transparent and accountable governance
vii. We express our deepest appreciation to the Government and people of South Africa for hosting this conference; the partner national departments such as National Population Unit, Statistics South Africa for co-organising, the UNFPA, individuals and groups who made this conference a reality and a huge success.
Adopted by Public Acclamation on Dec 4, 2015 at St. George Hotel and Conference Centre, Pretoria, South Africa

Recommendations on the way forward
1 Government and development partners should strengthen efforts to achieve universal access to family planning, expand public education on reproductive health matters, and improve the population’s education status and the status of the women.
2 South Africa, like other African countries, is confronted with major population and development challenges, including the challenge to reduce child and maternal mortality rates, amongst others. Current challenges should be considered in the context of the Tshwane Declaration, in order to refocus planning and resource allocation to purposefully address these challenges.
3 Managing migration in a safe, dignified and secure manner in full respect of existing international human rights obligations continues to be a challenge for many countries including South Africa. Therefore, robust discussions, visibility and recognition of migration need to be a national priority.
4 Multiple indicators show serious gaps between the output of skill development and industry requirements. For the country to reap the demographic dividend; there must be a concerted effort between labour markets and government to strengthen skills development programmes in order to increase employability of young people. In order to achieve this, socio-economic investments, quality education, gender equity and equality, and the empowerment of women should be should be a priority for government and all other role players in the economy.
5 More investment should be done in young people, since social investment in young people’s needs, including education, health and employment, will contribute significantly to sustainable development in the country
6 Investments in health need to be seen as a priority to lessen communicable as well as non-communicable diseases as one of the strategies towards reaping the demographic dividend.

The Seventh African Population Conference Report of November 30 – December 4, 2015