World Population Day Dialogue – Unlocking Youth Potential

The Design Hub, located in a warehouse in Uganda’s industrial area is not the typical meeting room for formal events. But on this occasion it could not have been more perfect. The hub provided a relaxed environment for a lively and frank discussion on sexual and reproductive health issues among young people, representatives of religious and civil society organizations and government officials. The dialogue, held on July 6 was organised by UNFPA, the Embassies of the Netherlands and Sweden in Uganda and Reach a Hand Uganda, ahead of the 2017 World Population Day.

Held under the global theme for World Population Day: Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations, the dialogue was intended to provide a  platform for young people to share ideas with policy makers and other stakeholders on how to improve their  access to sexual reproductive health information and services.

Panel discussion

A diverse panel made up of Ivan Mbaze and Anita Kwaga two young peer educators; Reverend Gideon Byamugisha an Anglican priest and HIV activist; Dr. Jotham Musinguzi the Director of the National Population Council and H.E. Henk Jan Bakker the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Uganda set the pace for the dialogue. The panelists each shared their views on the challenges young people face in accessing sexual and reproductive health services.  And for UNFPA Uganda Representative Alain Sibenaler, the composition of the panel certainly hit the mark: 

“I have been in four countries before but I haven’t seen this; where you have government ministers, reverends and ambassadors speaking up, fostering dialogue with young people.  It is about getting different generations, different points of view together and trying to get the best out of that,” he said. 

Read more here: Unlocking youth potential; young people lead the way in dialogue on reproductive health

By Martha Songa