Kenya to host global population summit in November

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A photo taken on January 24, 2018, shows the laboratory technicians demonstrating DNA testing at the Puntland Forensic Center in Garowe, Puntland State, Somalia. The first Forensic Center in Somalia, partly funded by the Swedish government and supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), brings advanced DNA testing capabilities to a country still lacking in paved roads and reliable electricity. The hope is that the DNA sample will help convict the woman's rapist, ushering in a new era of justice for the victims of Somalia's widespread sexual violence. / AFP PHOTO / Mohamed ABDIWAHAB (Photo credit should read MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images)
How many more can Africa handle?Nigeria/Photo/Quartz Africa

Kenya will partner with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the government of Denmark to host an international population summit in mid-November, officials said on Wednesday.

The Nairobi Summit of the 25th International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD 25) takes place from November 12 to 14. Thousands of world leaders, representatives of multilateral agencies, ministers and researchers are expected to attend.

The status of the reproductive health of women and girls is high on the agenda.

“We are expecting over 10,000 delegates in the upcoming Nairobi population summit that will review progress towards achieving universal access to reproductive health services among women and girls,” said Francis Kundu, an assistant director at National Council for Population and Development (NCPD).

He said the major objective of the three-day summit is to galvanize political goodwill required to ensure that women and girls of childbearing age have access to family planning services.

Kenya will convene the high-level population summit to mark the 25th anniversary since the inaugural International Conference on Population and Development that took place in Cairo, Egypt in September 1994.

The international community adopted a far-reaching declaration to empower women and girls through enhanced access to reproductive health services during the Cairo summit.

Kundu said the Nairobi summit is expected to mobilize political will and financial resources required to promote access to contraceptives among women and girls in marginalized settings.

“Delegates who include presidents, heads of UN agencies, corporate leaders and civil society advocates will renew commitment towards support for female reproductive health rights,” said Kundu.

He said that key highlights of the Nairobi population summit will include high-level political conversations on financing towards reproductive health programs and hackathons to showcase birth control innovations.

“The summit will also discuss strategies to reduce maternal deaths, eliminate gender-based violence and harmful practices like child marriages and female genital mutilation,” said Kundu.

He said the Nairobi summit will provide a roadmap to revitalize the global reproductive health agenda in line with sustainable development goals.

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