The Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Mr. Dereje Wordofa and a delegation from UNFPA paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (MP) on Wednesday, October 3, 2018.
The UNFPA delegation is in the country to attend the First Meeting of African Ministers or Senior Government Officials in Charge of Population. The Conference which starts from October 4-5, 2018, in Accra is being organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), African Union Commission (AUC) and African Population Experts Committee (APEC).
The Conference aims at bringing to the fore issues relating to population and development in Africa within the context of Agenda 2063, which is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the African Continent over the next 50 years. It seeks to build on and accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
In her welcome remarks, Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey stated that Ghana was happy to host the conference and was making efforts toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs). She indicated that Ghana has incorporated the SDGs into national policies.
She also said the majority of the world’s population are women and girls and added that the female child should be allowed to have a holistic growth. This, she said, would enable the girls to stay in school, grow properly and make important choices for their families. She urged that girls should not be denied formal education when they get pregnant whiles in school but rather encouraged to continue their education to enable them have a better future.
The Minister further stated that empowering women financially is important because it would make the economies of African countries stronger, adding that small scale industries in Ghana and Africa as a whole, are dominated by women.
She urged that the necessary structures to support the growth Africa’s young population be put in place. She called on the menfolk to help champion the cause of women, girls and young people. Hon. Botchwey also used the opportunity to wish the UNFPA team a successful conference.
On his part, Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA, Mr. Dereje Wordofa, thanked the Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey for receiving him and his team.
He said the SDGs would help create a better Africa and for that reason, multilateral efforts toward achieving the goals are being strengthened. He added that the First Meeting of African Ministers or Senior Government Officials in Charge of Population which was being organised was part of such efforts.
Mr. Wordofa said women should have the right to plan their reproductive health and have the number of children they want to have. He stated that the human rights of girls, women and young people should be respected, and the relevant laws and structures changed or enhanced to ensure that this is achieved.
He commended Ghana for implementing policies on maternal healthcare and family planning. He also commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo for their respective roles in promoting gender parity and socio-economic development of women, girls and young people.
Mr. Wordofa assured that the UNFPA would give the needed technical support to Ghana to enable the country’s women, girls and young people to grow in dignity. He also encouraged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to continue to offer support to women, girls and young people in achieving their aspirations.