World Population Day 2016 colourfully commemorated
The World Population Day was colourfully celebrated under the global theme “Investing in teenage girls”
The World Population Day was colourfully celebrated nationally on 14 July in Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara Regional State, with a half-day symposium in which around 350 people participated. The participants were comprised of Honourable Members of the Amhara Regional Council, members of the Population Council of the Region and other invited guests. The commemoration event coincided with the First Regular Session of the Amhara Region Population Council. The event was celebrated with the global theme chosen for the day – “Investing in teenage girls.”
In his remarks on the occasion, Honourable Ato Yirsaw Tamere, Speaker of the Amhara Regional Council, said that empowering and making young girls productive citizens is bolstering their contribution in the development activities of the country. He went on to say that in the implementation of the five-year development strategy of the country – the Growth and Transformation Plan – the Government of the Amhara Region had been striving to ensure the active participation of women and young people. He added that “the contribution of these sectors of society is critical to enable the country join the ranks of middle-level income countries in 2025.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Abraham Tekeste, Deputy Commissioner of the National Planning Commission with the rank of State Minister, noted that by investing in women and girls we would have at our disposal the most significant and yet largely untapped potential for achieving sustainable development. He underlined that “we cannot accelerate our development and achieve this goal if we do not strengthen our commitment to invest in young people and their health, education, and productive prospects.”
Delivering the message of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Faustin Yao, Country Representative of UNFPA, said at the event that rectifying the inequalities faced by teenage girls “is critical for the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” Quoting the statement of the Executive Director of UNFPA conveyed in connection with the day, Mr. Yao said “a teenage girl whose rights are respected and who is able to realize her full potential is a girl who is more likely to contribute to the economic and social progress of her community and nation.”
The commemoration event of the World Population Day also saw a presentation on the topic “Investing in teenage girls for harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Ethiopia” made by Dr. Eshetu Gurmu from the Addis Ababa University. A discussion ensued which was facilitated by Dr. Abraham Tekeste.
The different musical performances staged by a traditional band in the Amhara Region gave colour to the celebration.
The commemoration of the World Population Day was jointly organized by the National Planning Commission, the Amhara Region Planning Commission, and UNFPA.