Zambia Providing Economic, Social Opportunities for Women & Girls – Minister Chiteme Tells SADC Counterparts

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NAIROBI, Wednesday, 13th November 2019 – Minister of National Development Planning Honourable Alexander Chiteme says the Zambian Government is providing economic, social and other opportunities to its people, especially women and girls, to enable them make informed decisions about their lives.

Hon. Chiteme was speaking at the meeting of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministers responsible for population development on the sidelines of The Nairobi Summit International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD@25) in Kenya.

The Minister said Zambia’s review of its implementation of the ICPD and the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population Development showed that Zambia had made progress and was working on unfinished business to achieve the set objectives.

“Strides have been made by reduction in Extreme Poverty from 53 per cent in 1996 to 40 per cent in 2014; a decline in preventable maternal death from 649 per 100,00 live births in 1996 to 278 per 100,000 live births in 2018,” Mr. Chiteme said.

“A reduction in infant mortality rate by more than half, from 107 in 1992 to 42 in 2018; rise in Gender parity index for secondary education from 0.89 in 2010 to 1.02 in 2017, and successfully undertaking national Censuses at 10-year intervals since 1969 and now undertaking sub national analysis up to ward level to inform targeted investments.”

He, however, said some economic, social and other barriers still prevent millions of people, especially women and girls from making their own informed decisions about their lives hence the Government and other stakeholders to address those challenges.

He noted that financial resource constrained the implementation of some of the programmes to achieve the agreed goals.

“Progression of young people to secondary and tertiary education is still low at 60 per cent; teenage pregnancies and child marriages persist, at 29 per cent and 31 per cent respectively, preventing girls from reaching their full potential; an estimated 43 per cent of all women have reported being victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in their lifetime, and neonatal deaths continue to be a challenge with a marginal reduction from 29 deaths per 1000 live births in 2002 to 24 deaths per 1000 live births in 2013 but increased again over the past five years to 27 deaths per 1000 live births in 2018,” Mr. Chiteme said.

“Zambia remains fully committed to the full implementation of the principles and goals of the ICPD Programme of Action as well as AADPD beyond 2014 and rides on the opportunities that have been created which give pedigree to the country’s development agenda without living anyone behind.”

He said Zambia had created an enabling institutional and policy environment through the population, youth, disability, gender, health and education policies among others that have been put in place.

“Through the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), the pursuit for harnessing the demographic dividend by investing in health, education and employment opportunities of young people, as well as investing in family planning services, which will in turn spur a demographic transition, presents an opportunity for sustainable development. This coupled with the review of the National Population Policy and the 7NDP robust coordination mechanism for programme/project implementation at national, provincial and district levels, is evidence that the ICPD Agenda has been integrated in the National Development Plan,” Mr. Chiteme said.

Mr. Chiteme was speaking through the Permanent Secretary Development Cooperation, Monitoring and Evaluation (DC, M&E) Mr. Danies Chisenda.

Hon. Chiteme is leading the Zambian delegation to the Nairobi Summit, which is marking 25 years since I79 countries including Zambia adopted the landmark 1994 ICPD Programme of Action in Cairo, Egypt. The Cairo Summit recognised the relationships between population, development and individual well-being, stressing the need for universal access to sexual reproductive health as a key target of the sustainable development goals. The 2019 Nairobi Summit will map out a new 10-year vision, with fresh commitments on sustainable development.

Issued by
Chibaula D. Silwamba (Mr.)
Spokesperson
MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING
Tel: +260211252409 Email: chibaula.silwamba@mndp.gov.zm Website: www.mndp.gov.zm

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