The Department of Social Development in partnership with the Union for African Population Studies (UAPS) and Statistics South Africa will host the 7th African Population Conference (APC) at St. George’s Hotel, Irene, Gauteng Province.
The Conference will open on November 30. The full APC Programme can be accessed at http://uaps2015.princeton.edu/.
The APC is organised by UAPS once every four years to share and disseminate research evidence on population matters in order to improve policy and programmes on the continent.
In September the countries of the world adopted a set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.
The hosting of the APC at this time therefore affords South Africa as well as other countries on the continent an opportunity to showcase their involvement in population and development activities.
Africa is set to undergo the most dramatic demographic shifts in history. By the end of the century, if current demographic patterns continue for another 85 years, Africa would have 4.2 billion people, against 1.1 billion today.
This phenomena elevates issues pertaining to human welfare and of development for African countries. Rapid population growth can have serious consequences for the well-being of humanity worldwide.
It is instructive, therefore, that the APC will be hosted under the theme, “Demographic Dividends in Africa: Prospects, Opportunities and Challenges.”
If inclusive development entails the improvement in people’s standard of living – their incomes, health, education and general well-being – and if it also encompasses their self-esteem, respect dignity and freedom of choice, then the really important question about population growth is how does the contemporary population situation in many African countries contribute to or detract from their chances of realising the goals of development, not only for the current generation but also for the future generations.
South Africa’s hosting of the 7th APC is therefore an opportune platform for continued advocacy on population development in the country and continent. One of the key objectives of the Department of Social Development’s National Population Unit (NPU) is to monitor the promotion and advocacy of the 1998 Population Policy for South Africa.
Aligned to the key priorities of Government and the National Development Plan (NDP), the South African Population Policy – in accordance with the South African Constitution and guided by the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD) – emphasises the attainment of sustainable development and places people at the centre of that development.
Development is seen as a process of enlarging people’s capabilities and ensuring that they enjoy long, healthy and creative lives. This is based on an approach that fundamental human rights and sustainable development cannot be separated if we are to improve the lives of people.
The phrase ‘population and development’ is very important in the South African, and African context as a whole, as it marks a sharp departure from the ‘population control’ policies of the apartheid and colonial governments.
As such, the APC takes place to review the state of knowledge and gaps on various population and development issues affecting the African continent. Conference participants explore ways for applying the research evidence to improve policy and programmes in their respective countries and regions.
Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the 7th APC, planned as follows:
Date: Monday, 30 November until Friday, 04 December 2015
Time: 09h00 daily
Venue: St George’s Hotel, Irene, Pretoria, Gauteng Province
Media can RSVP by contacting Mr Jaconia Kobue – 073 026 1111 / firstname.lastname@example.org or Justice Ditshego – 079 4977426 / email@example.com
Media accreditation will take place on Sunday, November 29, at St George’s Hotel. A valid Identity document / driver’s licence as well as a press card should be produced for accreditation.
Ms Lumka Oliphant
083 484 8067
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS