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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has inaugurated the Progress Report on 2018 Demographic Dividend in West and Central Africa with a call for multiplying strategic partnership and scaling up successful demographic dividend capture initiatives.

The Agency has also renewed its call for West and Central African countries to take advantage of its population growth, to derive maximum benefits of demographic dividends in the region.

Ms Kori Habib, Media Specialist UNFPA Nigeria and Habibou Dia, Media Specialist UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Office, announced this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

It said Mr Mabingué Ngom, Regional Director of UNFPA for West and Central Africa and Mr. Auguste Pareina, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, unveiled the report in Dakar, Senegal.

It reported the regional director as saying that available record puts population growth rate of sub-Saharan Africa at 2.7 per cent, stressing that the record strongly militated against the continent’s development.

Ngom had also said, in parallel with the rapid population growth, there was a drastic reduction in resources in sub-saharan Africa, stressing that Lake Chad lost 90 per cent of its area between 1970 and now.

“Thus UNFPA in a bid to address the negative effect it poses on the continent, renewed its call for countries in the region to take advantage of Demographic Dividend to reverse the trend.

“It is worthy to note that the mandate of UNFPA is to end unmet needs for family planning; end preventable maternal deaths and end gender-based violence and harmful practices,’’ it said.

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