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MLI co-sponsors high-level meeting at family planning conference

November 29, 2011 – December 2, 2011

A declining fertility rate combined with a population bulge of workforce-age citizens can not only boost a country’s economy, it can spark progress in a country’s overall development. However, this ‘demographic dividend’ is not guaranteed to any country; responsible policies across all government sectors are needed to set the stage for countries to take advantage of this opportunity. At the Second International Conference on Family Planning, MLI co-organized a high-level meeting between Ministers of Health, Finance, Planning, and Social Development to address how the demographic dividend can improve their country’s economic growth and development.

“Realizing the Demographic Dividend to Accelerate Economic Growth” was a closed one-day meeting taking place on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 in Dakar, Senegal. Discussions revolved around the population dynamics in many sub-Saharan African countries that are now compelling governments to address rising public expenditures to meet the needs of children and young people as they come of age, seek to apply skills acquired through schooling, join the labor force, form families and participate in society. Well-considered policies to boost the productive employment of those reaching adulthood can spur economic growth and raise productivity and personal incomes. Immediate investments are needed in reproductive, maternal and child health, education, especially of females, and job creation to take full advantage of the demographic dividend.

Four panels took place during the day (agenda attached below):

Advancing Economic and Social Development with the Demographic Dividend

Realizing Health and Wealth: Investing in Adolescents and Youth

Maximizing the Demographic Dividend—Now and in the Future

Looking Ahead—Country and Donor Perspectives

The meeting was hosted by the World Bank, US Agency for International Development (USAID), UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Partners in Population and Development, Africa Regional Office (PPDARO).

 


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