Ring-fencing Family Planning investment among youthful population will boost productive human capital: Experts

Ring-fencing Family Planning investment among youthful population will boost productive human capital: Experts
Rogers Matte, Director Research National Planning Authority

Stakeholders including CSOs, Parliament, Local government, development partners among others have called for an emphasis of financing family planning interventions among the young population in an effort to  achieve the demographic dividend that Uganda desires to achieve.

According to UBOS 2019 report,  the presence of a large youthfully population is both a burden or an opportunity depending on how the country manages it. It can be an opportunity when the youthful population is transformed into productive human capital for accelerated social-economic growth depending on the level of investment.

During a strategic engagement with Parliament Committees on health, education, gender, budget, and local government on demographic dividend, held on 28th June 2022 at Hotel Africana, the Director Research at National Planning Authority (NPA) Rogers Matte noted that government has been pursuing family planning financing review  to inform strategic directions to ensure improving the human capital among the youth to reduce high dependence, fertility rates, mortality rates among others.

“Uganda’s youthful population can be a potential drive for growth. The current population structure characterized by high dependence, high fertility rates need to addressed to avoid its constraint effects to transformation” he said.

Sophie Nampewo from Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) pictures above highlighted the need to emphasize family planning  financing gaps focusing on investment in the access to maternal and health services, skilling and empowering the youth into labour force to reduce dependence rates,  access to adolescent health information among other interventions.

“There is need to strengthen empowerment of adolescent and access to appropriate information, reduce negative social-cultural effects among the youth” she said

Roselyn Achola from UNFP noted that In order to attain sustainable financing to family planning , there is need to consider co-financing by both development partners and government at a rate of at least 1% contribution locally.

According to Hon. Milton Muwuma, MP Kigula South Iganga during an interview highlighted that while implementing family planning interventions, there is need to provide special attention to rural districts where women have more kids ratios than their urban  counterparts. He added that family planning financing need to be re-fenced.

In the MDAs and Local government demographic dividend compliance tool submitted to NPA in 2020 indicate that in an effort to achieve the demographic dividend, there is need to focus on increasing productivity of a larger labour force, greater women participation in income generation, reduce fertility, to improve saving, lower cost of basic social service to achieve the desired growth. It also shows that if commitment to a requisite investment is made timely it will guide harnessing of the demographic dividend of the young population.