Better education and public health will be hugely beneficial to the health and development of these young people.

This period of their lives is a time of enormous vibrancy, discovery, innovation, and hope. Yet, it is also the time when they face many sexual and reproductive health challenges, including early and unintended pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted infections, gender-based violence, and child marriage – all of which can undermine education opportunities, especially for girls, and affect future health and opportunities.

Investing in the education and health of adolescents and young people at the right time ensures that they transition into healthy adults who can contribute productively to the economy.

Eastern and Southern Africa
has 158 million young people aged 10-24,
a number that is expected to rise to
281 million by 2050
Country level coordination

Across the region, all ESA Commitment countries have either established a new or utilized an existing coordinating mechanism with clear terms of reference to guide the implementation of the ESA Commitment, many of them explicitly multi-sectorial.

Countries with technical working groups that are guided by clear terms of reference are better able to ensure a comprehensive and joint national response for addressing the issues of adolescents and young people.

Regional level coordination

The ESA Commitment process is steered by a High-Level Group (HLG) of 10 champions and leaders with a firm interest in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

The HLG is assisted by a Technical Coordinating Group (TCG), whose key task is to provide technical, administrative, and financial support to the ESA Commitment process.

Together they play a critical role in advocating for the ESA Commitment in regional and local contexts, in addition to overseeing a unified regional vision.

The Regional Economic Communities are the lead in championing accountability and overseeing implementation of the ESA Commitment.


#TBT Swedish Minister Mr. Gustav Fridolin (Center) with Swedish Ambassador to Zambia (second from right) and his team, and UNESCO staff during his tour to Zambia in January 2018. #CSE #YouthSRHR UNESCO UNESCO YouthUnesco Regional Office for Southern Africa ... See MoreSee Less

Wonderful to have young reporters asking their questions to our high level panelists today at @UNESCO #UNESCO dialogue hosted by South Africa's Dept of Basic #Education on scaling up #comprehensivesexualityeducation #CSE #CSENOW #YouthSRHNow Children's Radio Foundation #SaveTheChildren

[Photos by Czerina Patel]

Unesco Regional Office for Southern Africa
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