Over the past five years, the Francophone West African subregion has witnessed an unprecedented movement to reposition family planning (FP) in strategies to combat maternal mortality and promote family planning. Key events of this development include: the Ouagadougou Conference in February 2011, which launched the first phase of the Ouagadougou Partnership (OP) at the subregional level, entitled “Urgency to act”; The London Conference in July 2012 which gave birth to FP2020; The Cotonou 2015 annual meeting, which celebrated the successes achieved after four years of OP implementation and finally the ministerial meeting of December 2015 in Dakar which accentuated the momentum and led to the launch of the second phase of the OP entitled “acceleration phase” for the 2016-2020 period. During this phase, countries will strengthen achievements and put more emphasis on FP contribution to attain the demographic dividend.
At the OP 2015 annual meeting, the international community appreciated and celebrated the results achieved by the 9 OP members’ countries. Indeed, in 2012 the 9 Francophone countries had 3,000,000 women using modern contraceptive methods, and by June 2015, the number was estimated at 4,350,000 women, an increase of more than one million additional women. In light of these encouraging results, Ministers of health decided in December 2015 to set a new target of 2.2 million additional women for the 2016-2020 acceleration phase.
This goal was determined on the basis of the trends in the “Urgency to act” phase for each country to which a 15% increase has been added to take into account the heterogeneous dynamics of the countries. Indeed, according to the trends, the 9 countries will reach 1.9 million additional users in 2020. If, on the other hand, the heterogeneity and dynamics of the countries are taken into account, the coefficient of 15% upwards in the 9 countries, would reach an additional 2.2 million women using modern contraceptive methods by 2020 as shown in the graphs in the figure below:
The ambitious 2016-2020 acceleration phase presents important challenges for all countries and their partners because, aside from the goal of 2.2 million additional women using modern contraceptive methods, members countries also decided to review and revise their action plans to turn them into second generation plans which take into account scientific evidence and promising innovations.