The majority of young people live in developing countries, and the 10 countries with the youngest populations are found in sub-Saharan Africa.  Investments made in youth to promote healthy transitions to adulthood are critical to both health and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Meeting the reproductive health needs of youth is paramount to success, their ability to make healthy and informed decisions about childbearing and birth spacing now will yield high returns in the region. Our research findings support existing literature that calls for a reorientation of family planning policies and programs, especially improved access to modern contraceptive methods among African youth.

Our policy development initiative focuses on collaborating with government, NGO’s, civil society groups and other stakeholders to improve reproductive health policies and programs to address youth needs. In many instances, we generate evidence, synthesize and facilitate policy decisions making. Examples of current programs exist in Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia Kenya, Rwanda. These programs pay special attention to girls, because from a demographic perspective investing in girls is critical to social and economic progress, as well as each country’s development.

Judith Slide