1. The First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development organized by the National Council for Population and Development, Kenya (NCPD) and China Population and Development Research Center (CPDRC) with support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 18th to 19th April 2017, to discuss and share experience, opportunities and challenges in population and development. The meeting was attended by representatives from government ministries, academic institutions and the UNFPA country and regional offices.
2. The conference was the follow-up of actions outlined in the Beijing Call for South-South cooperation on ‘Population and Development’, adopted at the Ministerial strategic dialogue held on 18th March 2016 in Beijing, China, which recommended for deepened South-South Cooperation (SSC) in population and development including sexual reproductive health, reproductive health rights, gender equality, and population and development.
3. The conference acknowledged the efforts made by various countries to attain the demographic dividend within the framework of the African Union Roadmap and Agenda 2063 on the “Africa We Want” which envisages a continent with high quality of life. The discussions reflected on the initiatives and high level of commitment at the continental level by African Union by dedicating the theme of 2017 to “harnessing the demographic dividend through the investments in the youth”.
4. The conference discussed the demographic transition and demographic dividend with an emphasis on human capital, education and skill development, health transition, building on the experiences from China and East Asian countries as well as specific initiatives from participating African countries. The conference deliberated issues related to population ageing, migration, urbanisation, families and gender including the demographic and socioeconomic implications of skewed sex ratios at birth.
5. Demographic dividend requires a careful consideration of a multi-sectoral approach in its implementation. The multi-sectoral approach has led to various policy and operational frameworks. The Chinese framework focuses on education, employment, empowerment and equity: African Union Demographic Dividend Roadmap focuses on four pillars of health and wellbeing, employment and entrepreneurship, education and skill development and rights, governance and youth empowerment. This calls for close collaboration between various stakeholders including the private and public sectors.
6. The conference highlighted the importance of evidence-based policy and decision-making supported by high quality disaggregated data. This will require capacity strengthening, methodological innovations, sharing and generating accessible data and knowledge translation. The scope for using PADIS INT, developed by CPDRC, was discussed particularly in the context of increasing availability of census data across Africa.
7. South-South cooperation in population and development between Africa and China can be a win-win learning experience in harnessing the demographic dividend and equitable sustainable development.
8. There are diversities of demographic dynamics within and between countries thus providing opportunities for South-South cooperation. China and Mauritius are faced with a rapidly ageing population, while the rest of Africa is largely youthful however health care for the elderly is becoming a concern for developing countries.
9. We recognise that countries are at different stages of harnessing the demographic dividend and therefore encourage countries to determine, request and participate in the type of South-South cooperation relevant to their needs and circumstances.
10. We resolve to work jointly to promote South-South cooperation in population and development that will foster and sustain first and second demographic dividend through the following thematic areas:
i. Enhance advocacy:
• Organizing strategic dialogue including the annual Africa-China conference on population and development;
• Sharing advocacy and evidence in the area of population and development including sexual and reproductive health, youth empowerment and healthy ageing;
• Mobilising support for advocacy activities.
ii. Capacity building and technical cooperation:
• Facilitating and nurturing the establishment of centres of excellence;
• Nurturing research, think-tank and academic institutions especially those training population and health professionals;
• South-South exchange programs and benchmarking
• Youth volunteering and internship programs
• National capacities on data collection and analysis, research and dissemination, population projection and small area estimations.
iii. Strengthening partnerships
• Support opportunities for convergence between private sector of Africa and China to engage in demographic dividend and reproductive health.
• Foster cooperation between national institutions, involving governmental and non-governmental institutions with potential comparative advantages in the Global South;
• Strengthen institutional collaboration;
• Foster partnership with the youth and the elderly in harnessing the demographic dividend.
11. We resolve to create opportunities for strategic dialogue to renew commitments to the Post-2014 ICPD and SDGs agenda.
12. We resolve to work together using innovative ways to mobilize resources for implementation of South-South cooperation in population and development.
13. We reiterate the commitment to continue implementing the South-South cooperation activities for the benefit of Africa and China population and development.