Organization of African Unity



JULY 1994


FAX 251 1 51 30 36
TELEPHONE: 51 77 00 EXT. 191, 237, 395


1. We, the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), assembled in Tunis from 13-15 June 1994, for the Thirtieth Ordinary Session of our summit, have once more critically assessed the prevailing socio-economic situation of our continent and have reviewed the inextricable link between population and development. We note with concern that, our economies have been stagnating and declining, making Africa the most economically under-developed continent in the world. This situation has exposed our population to severe hardships and sacrifices.

2. In response to this situation, we have adopted various development strategies and plans including in particular the Declaration on Political and Socio-economic Situation in Africa and the Fundamental Changes Taking Place in the World (1990) as well as the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (AEC) (1991).

3. In spite of these efforts, our countries continue to face serious difficulties as a result of an unfavourable international economic environment characterized inter-alia by the collapse of prices of commodities of interest to African countries, the excruciating debt burden, the servicing of which is consuming a large part of our export earnings, and the decline, in real terms, of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) to our continent. All these notwithstanding, our countries have embarked on the implementation of structural adjustment programmes and the transformation of our economies.

4. We are aware of the intricate inter-play between population, environment and sustainable development and are mindful of the necessity for African States to evolve population policies and programmes to bring a balance between population growth and the capacity of our countries to provide for the basic needs of our people.

5. We have reviewed the population and development situation in our continent and wish to express our total political commitment to address them in the context of sustainable development. To this end, we reiterate our commitment to provide the basic needs of our people. We realize that this will require the full participation of our people in bringing a balance between our resources and our population growth.

6. In this respect, we wish to stress that population issues should be addressed in the wider context of the total needs of our socio-economic development. These issues were addressed in the Kilimanjaro Programme of Action (KPA) for self-reliant development (1984) and in the Dakar/NGOR Declaration on Population, Family and Sustainable Development (1992).


7. Sustainable development requires the integration of population variables into development strategies, socio-economic planning, decision-making and resource allocation at all levels.

8. For a successful implementation of population and sustainable development policies, infrastructure, institutions, the legal framework and human resources are required.

9. Economic integration among our countries is an essential condition for our collective self-reliance and self-sustained development.

10. Africa's efforts will require, supportive international economic environment, addressing the debt burden, the terms of trade and providing adequate international support in the promotion or our development, particularly in industrialization.

11. We are committed to provide the basic needs of our population, particularly food security, drinking water, health services, education and shelter.

12. We reaffirm the rights and responsibilities of individuals and families to participate in decision-making affecting their well- being.

13. In recognition of the critical role of women and their major contribution to socio-economic development, we reaffirm our commitment to the enhancement of women's rights, status and needs.

14. We are aware that peace, security, stability and the rule of law are necessary prerequisites for our development and the welfare of our people. To this end, we have adopted the Cairo Declaration on the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution within the OAU (1993).

15. We reaffirm our solidarity in dealing with our development and population problems. In this respect, we reaffirm the sovereign rights of each of our countries to formulate its population policies with freedom, dignity and respecting intrinsic values of its people, taking fully into account its moral and cultural factors.

16. We commit ourselves to exert every effort to address the root causes of the problems of refugees and displaced persons, through conflict prevention, management and resolution; through democratization and the respect for human rights; and by the encouragement of voluntary repatriation of refugees to their respective countries of origin, once the conditions of their exile have disappeared.


17. We have considered the Dakar/NGOR Declaration on Population, Family and Sustainable Development adopted by our Ministers Responsible for Population Matters at the 3rd African Population Conference (APC) held in Dakar in December 1992.

18. We hereby endorse the Dakar/NGOR Declaration and affirm that it is an indispensable population and development strategy that will take Africa to the end of this century and beyond.

19. We stress the need for a sustained effort in the formulation of explicit population policies and the design of strategies for implementing the policy measures and the associated national population programmes by our Member States. To this end, we urge our Member States to establish and/or strengthen national institutions to address, on a continuous and consistent basis, the issues of population and sustainable development and in particular to take the necessary measures for the implementation of the commitment made on the Dakar/NGOR Declaration.

20. We commit ourselves particularly to do all within our power to empower women to play their full role in society through the elimination of inequality between men and women, providing educational opportunities to attain their full potential, the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and ensure their full access to the means of production including land.

21. We commit ourselves to address in a comprehensive manner the development of our youth to achieve their full potential through the provision of education, counselling, support services and gainful employment opportunities.

22. We further commit ourselves to improve the living conditions of our rural population, including nomads, through specific policies and programmes designed to meet basic needs particularly food, drinking water, health, education and shelter within the framework of our population and sustainable development policies and strategies.

23. We commit ourselves to increase in our regular respective budgets the necessary resources needed for the implementation of our population policies and programmes.

24. We urge the International Community to provide our countries with the necessary assistance to achieve the above objectives and to support our efforts for the implementation of the Dakar/NGOR Declaration in particular to:

a) expand our health infrastructure to ensure adequate coverage of our population in each Member State in order to adequately provide for mother and child health services and family planning;

b) assist Member States in the implementation of their information, education, communication (IEC) strategies, in service delivery, capacity building for statistical data collection, analysis, research and reporting capabilities to enhance the management of population and development matters; and

c) review and formulate legal systems with a view to establishing the necessary legal framework to create a positive environment for the full participation of women in their own development and the development of our countries.

25. We endorse the establishment of the African Population Commission and request it to co-operate with other institutions in the implementation of population activities in Africa.

26. We encourage Member States to cooperate and exchange experiences in the field of population and development, particularly in research, statistics and policy issues, to foster collaboration among African researchers and planners in this field with the view to creating an enabling environment for the establishment and effective functioning of the African Economic Community. We also encourage the South-South cooperation in the field of population and development activities.

27. We call upon the OAU Member States to make all the necessary preparations at the national level and to participate actively at the Cairo Conference, in view of the fact that this major international event will be taking place on the African soil for the first time.

28. We wish to express our appreciation and congratulations to the Government and the People of the Arab Republic of Egypt for hosting the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

29. We express our appreciation to the UNFPA and other donors for assisting African countries in implementing their population programmes and request them to continue providing that assistance. We also request the donor countries and NGOs to increase their technical and financial assistance to population programmes in Africa.

30. We request the Secretary-General of the OAU in collaboration with the Executive Secretary of the ECA to monitor developments in population activities in Africa and to submit periodic reports to the OAU Council of Ministers and to the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.