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Innovative Safeguard Young People Programme expands to empower more adolescents and young people in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 24 November 2021—The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) East and Southern Africa Regional Office announced the long-awaited expansion of their flagship Safeguard Young People (SYP) programme to Angola, Mozambique, Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Since 2013, the programme has been implemented in eight Southern African countries, namely, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The flagship programme, the first of its kind, strengthens national responses for the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of adolescents and young people in the region.

This year, with financing from UNFPA, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development, the programme has been expanded for three years in Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania, and for five years in Angola and Mozambique.

Renata Tallarico, UNFPA Youth Team Lead and SYP Regional Co-ordinator, said, “The expansion of SYP to three more Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, as well as Rwanda from the East Africa Community, is a collective drive for the young people of Africa towards a future that is inclusive, progressive, greener, and healthier.”

The programme has grown to nearly 15,000 youth network members and has enhanced capacity to close on 31,000 comprehensive sexuality education teachers assisting at over 800 service delivery points, where SYP services have reached almost 8 million young people.

“Young people aged between 10 to 24 years old in East and Southern Africa account for almost 33 per cent of the total population. The SADC region is youthful, dynamic, and vibrant. They want to thrive, build their communities, and change their world. By expanding the programme, we can scale up existing interventions for adolescents and young people,” Ms. Tallarico said.

Now, with the addition of Angola, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania to the programme, under the leadership of the regional economic communities and in partnership with young people, UNFPA has the additional scope to provide platforms for Africa’s youth to lead, to participate in the economic growth and development of East and Southern Africa, and to make smart SRHR choices for their own wellbeing and for the benefit of the region.

For further information please contact:

Daisy Diamante Leoncio, Regional Communications Advisor, leoncio@unfpa.org

Renata Tallarico, SYP Regional Coordinator and Youth Team Lead, tallarico@unfpa.org

SYP event video will be sent to interested media representatives.

UNFPA

UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA calls for the realization of reproductive rights for all and supports access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning, maternal health care and comprehensive sexuality education.