Following the African Union Assembly Decision (Assembly/AU/Dec.601 (XXVI)) of January 2016 devoting the theme of the year 2017 to Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth various development stakeholders including African governments have taken various steps to operationalise investments and frameworks stipulated in the roadmap in order to move the demographic dividend agenda forward. To that effect, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) East and Southern Africa Region (ESARO) has convened a training workshop for its officers in order to strengthen regional capacity and collaboration in the implementation of the African Union (AU) Roadmap on Demographic Dividend in the East and Southern Africa region. AFIDEP is providing technical expertise on modelling. The workshop kicked off on 29 August and ends on 31 August 2017.
Through the workshop, UNFPA seeks to further equip its key officers with relevant skills to contribute to the effective implementation and coordination of demographic dividend activities in their countries. UNFPA officers play a key role in engaging with the governments of their respective countries and therefore need their capacity bolstered so they can effectively advice high-level policymakers on development processes. Empowering these UNFPA demographic dividend focal points will enable them to engage meaningfully in the evidence-based information generation, design and development of interventions, programmes, and policies; build knowledge, skills, and leadership; and enhance the capacity of UNFPA to advocate for and advance demographic dividend initiatives that are beneficial to young people in Africa, especially women and girls.
It is expected that at the end of the training workshop, UNFPA officers will have better understanding of key global and regional development frameworks. This includes the real meaning of the demographic dividend concept, the AU Roadmap on Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth, the AU Agenda 2063, the global Agenda 2030, and their linkages to national development plans, strategies and decision-making processes. Further, the UNFPA officers will have deeper understanding of ways of generating evidenced-based information and policy options that go with the demographic dividend modelling. They will also gain skills on developing key messages to advance policymaking and investments on the demographic dividend. At the end of the training workshop, it is expected that the stakeholders will come up with updated strategies and collaboration mechanisms to support further implementation of the AU Roadmap on the Demographic Dividend.