FP2030 focal points workshops return to galvanize the family planning partnership

The success of the FP2030 global family partnership is grounded in the shared learning and collaboration of family planning leaders in governments, civil society and youth-led organizations, international NGOs and donors, and technical experts. Their shared commitment to accelerating the use of family planning has yielded stronger programs for more people, and led to the next phase of the global partnership.  

In June, FP2030 was able to revive a key platform for this shared work when the Eastern and Southern Africa Hub successfully hosted the first in-person Focal Point Workshop since the COVID pandemic, attracting 130 delegates from Anglophone sub-Saharan Africa.  

The four-day FP2030 regional workshop, Marching Toward 2030 for Family Planning Rights and Choices, is a milestone event that brought together key stakeholders to discuss and develop strategies for improving access to family planning services. The conference provided an opportunity for policymakers, researchers, healthcare professionals, and other experts to exchange ideas and collaborate on solutions to the challenges facing family planning programs. 

Speaking at the official opening, the FP2030 Executive Director, Dr Samukeliso Dube, commended countries for making their commitments and the progress registered to-date and challenged them to accelerate their implementations as we head toward 2030. 

“I am pleased to be here because this region is a standout success,” she said. “The East and Southern Africa region has seen the highest increase in modern contraceptive prevalence globally, with Mozambique and Malawi leading the way.” 

But data only tells one side of the story. She continued, “The success of this movement is not only measured by the number of lives changed by access to rights-based, modern contraception. It is also measured by number of girls who can stay in school, the number of women who can land their dream jobs, and men who are knowledgeable and supportive partners even their own fertility journeys.”  

Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Director General of the National Population Council of Uganda, also spoke at the opening of the workshop, calling attention to the urgent need to ensure young people had access to family planning services. 

“We must be very intentional in what we are telling young people. Our policies should be very clear to guide and protect sexually active young people.” 

He added that Ugandan government policy is to empower young people to further their education so that they can develop skills and find jobs—all of which is improved when adolescents can delay childbearing. 

Dr Sheila Macharia, Managing Director of the FP2030 East and Southern Africa Regional Hub, said access to modern contraception information and services is a human rights issue that can not be negotiated. 

“We are working together for a future where all people everywhere have the freedom and ability to access their own informed decisions about using modern contraception and where or when to have children, lead healthy lives and participate as equals in society and its development,” said Dr. Macharia. 

The four-day conference also featured keynote speeches, panel discussions, and working sessions on a wide range of topics related to family planning, including: Financing family planning programs, including domestic resource mobilization; Creating accountability in country action plans; Protecting contraceptive and reproductive health supply chains; Advancing the use of high-impact practices for implementation and scale up of family planning; and Understanding strategies to deliver family planning in emergency settings and promoting resilience.