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World Population Day Commemorated

The World Population Day was celebrated nationally on 15 July with a half-day symposium in which 400 people participated.  The day also marked the 17thanniversary of the promulgation of the National Population Policy of Ethiopia. The event also served as an occasion to disseminate Detailed Statistical Results of the Third Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia which was conducted in 2007.

In his remarks on the occasion, Mr. Mekonnen Manyazewal, State Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Ethiopia, noted that population and development have a strong linkage and influence each other. He went on to say that "data is important for policymakers to make informed decision about policies, programs and development plans."

Mr. Samuel Nymambi, Resident Coordinator of United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Ethiopia, read the message of the Secretary-General of the United Nations conveyed in connection with the World Population Day. He noted that "access to good data is a component of good governance, transparency and accountability.  Population data helps leaders and policy-makers to make informed decisions about policies and programmes to reduce poverty and hunger, and advance education, health and gender equality."

Delivering the message of the Executive Director of UNFPA on the occasion, Mr. Benoit Kalasa, Country Representative of UNFPA, said that the theme of the World Population Day this year signifies the importance of data for development. He added that "censuses, surveys and vital statistics provide critical data to guide plans, policies and programmes to meet people's needs and improve their lives."

The Director-General of the Central Statistical Agency, Mrs. Samia Zakaria, gave a highlight of the Detailed Results of the 3rd Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia which was disseminated on the occasion. Presentations were made at the event and songs, poems as well as drama were presented to the gathering on the occasion which have relevance to the theme of this year's World Population Day.

The World Population Day commemoration event was organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Central Statistical Agency, UNFPA, Integrated Family Health Programme, the German Foundation for World Population, Consortium of Reproductive Health Association, Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia, and other partners. In addition to the international theme chosen for the day, "Everyone Counts," a national theme was also chosen for this year titled "Small, Happy, and Prosperous Family." The national theme also served as the theme of the Ethiopian Government for the commemoration of the World Population Day last year.

Senior government officials, members of the diplomatic missions, representatives of UN agencies, CSOs, and others participated in the commemoration of the World Population Day.