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IUSSP at the African Population Conference

Entebbe, Uganda, 18-22 November 2019

 

The IUSSP was excited to participate in the Union for African Population Studies (UAPS) 8th African Population Conference, which was held 18 -22 November at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda on the shores of Lake Victoria.  The theme of this year’s conference was “Harnessing Africa’s Population Dynamics for Sustainable Development: 25 Years after Cairo and Beyond” and it was well attended, with over 800 participants.  The scientific programme included 480 oral presentations organized in 153 formal sessions, 289 poster sessions, 4 side meetings and 6 training sessions. 

 

Highlights of the conference

 

The opening ceremonies included addresses by UAPS President Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe, UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem, and Uganda’s prime minister Ruhakana Rugunda. In various ways, each of these people reflected on the Conference theme. Samuel Codjoe summarized Africa’s achievements in improving some population and health indicators since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), while evoking the challenges ahead for African governments to implement policies to ensure that “Africa’s population growth, structure and distribution do not undermine efforts to reduce poverty, ensure food security and ultimately realise the SDGs”.  President Codjoe was pleased also to report that, through careful management during his presidency, UAPS was now financially sound and once again attractive to donors, portending a more active organization in the future under the stewardship of the incoming president, Donatien Beguy.  

 

UNFPA director Natalia Kanem’s address reflected on the post-Cairo and the recent Nairobi ICPD + 30 conference. She reiterated UNFPA’s commitment to population research and data, needed to understand and address population challenges facing the continent, whether they be high fertility, rapid urbanization and population ageing or migration. She noted that new data are needed to measure achievements of the SDGs, especially disaggregated data at the local level to get at differences based on gender, social status, and disability, etc. in the effort to make sure no one is left behind. The work of population researchers is crucial to this task.

 

IUSSP Scientific Panels organized 4 sessions on the programme: 

 

  • The IUSSP Panel on Population Perspectives and Demographic Methods to Strengthen Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Systems organized a session on Emerging Issues in CRVS and ID that provided a thought-provoking discussion on the growth of national identification systems chaired by Karen Carter. (read here)

  • The IUSSP Panel on Family Planning, Fertility and Urban Development organized an interactive session on Urban Family Planning. Read the full report here where you can also access the video recording of the session.  

  • The IUSSP Panel on International Migration - Strengthening the Knowledge Base for Policy organized a roundtable session on Perspectives and Prospects for a Global Migration Survey, which was chaired by Mariama Awumbila, with Ellen Kraly as discussant. (read more here)

  • The IUSSP Panel on Couples' Reproductive Health and Fertility organized a session via the official APC call for papers on Couples’ Reproductive Health and Fertility. The session was chaired by Visseho Adjiwanou, with Ambrose Akinlo as discussant (see session papers).

 

In addition, IUSSP President Tom LeGrand made a short address at the plenary session on “No urban legend: Taking the long-term view on the realities of urbanization in Africa”, in which he presented the rapid growth of urban populations in the region, the centrality of urban areas to most population policies, and the general neglect by population scientists of the specificities of urban life in their research. The IUSSP Panel on Contraceptive Transition Theories, funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and chaired by John Casterline, also held its first Panel meeting to plot out the panel’s future activities. The IUSSP Secretariat had an exhibit booth where the Call for Papers for the 2021 International Population Conference was publicized, and IUSSP Council members and the Executive Director met with old and new IUSSP members from the region, many of whom took the opportunity to renew their membership or become members. Finally, the Union funded 15 IUSSP Family Planning, Fertility and Urban Development fellowship candidates to attend the conference, along with a number of speakers presenting in IUSSP organized sessions. 

 

 

During the conference the UAPS members elected the 2020-2023 UAPS Council.  The new council and officers were announced at the closing ceremony:

 

  • President: Dr. Donatien Beguy
  • Vice President: Prof. Nyovani Janet Madise
  • General Secretary: Prof. Jacques B. O. Emina
  • Treasurer: Dr. Deladem Nai
  • Representative for Western Africa: Prof. Soura Abdramane
  • Representative for Central Africa: Dr. Franklin Bouba Djourdebb é
  • Representative for Eastern Africa: Dr. Yovani Lubaale
  • Representative of Southern Africa: Dr. Leon Swartz
  • Representative of Northern Africa: Prof. Bedrouni Mohammed

 

Newly elected Vice-President and President Elect, Nyovani Madise delivered the official statement for the Entebbe Conference and Samuel Codjoe passed on the UAPS Presidency to his successor, Donatien Beguy. The conference ended with a song and dance performance by a troupe of young dancers who evoked the need for Africa’s leaders to listen to its youth and courageously address issues that threaten the continent’s future.  

 

Congratulations to UAPS for organizing a successful conference!  

 

 

 

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