As part of the commitment, countries will scale up comprehensive sexuality education for young people. This means public schools and other institutions must cover topics such as sexuality, gender equality, HIV/STI prevention, relationships and sexual reproductive rights in an age-appropriate and accurate way. Learn More >


Comprehensive sexuality education needs to be linked to accessible, affordable and effective health services and commodities for young people. This includes condoms, contraceptives, HCT, HIV/STI treatment, post abortion care, safe delivery, prevention of mother-to-child transmission and other related services. Learn More >

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20 Countries in Eastern and Southern Africa made the commitment to scale-up comprehensive sexuality education and sexual reproductive health information and services for young people.

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In late 2011, under the leadership of UNAIDS and with the support of the Regional Economic Communities (EAC and SADC), the UN initiated a process that aimed to develop and implement a commitment around the needs and rights of young people. The initiative has now expanded to include core UN partners and civil society organizations from across the region.

The commitment has brought together both education and health sector, policy makers and young people: to collaborate and strengthen sexual and reproductive health and rights. The endorsed commitment has an accountability clause that binds the countries to deliver on certain targets in a given time period. Targets have been set for both 2015 and 2020.

Read full ESA Commitment


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    • A good quality comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum framework is in place and being implemented.
    • Pre and in-service sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and CSE training for teachers and health and social workers are in place and being implemented.
    • Decrease the number of adolescents and young people who do not have access to youth-friendly SRH services by 50%. This includes equitable, accessible, acceptable, appropriate and effective services related to HIV


  • Consolidate recent and hard-won gains in the reduction of HIV prevalence in ESA and push towards eliminating all new HIV infections amongst adolescents and young people aged 10-24.
  • Pre and in-service SRH and CSE training for teachers, health and social workers are in place and being implemented.
  • Increase to 95% the number of adolescents and young people, aged 10-24, who demonstrate comprehensive HIV prevention knowledge levels.
  • Reduce early and unintended pregnancies among young people by 75% Eliminate gender-based violence.
  • Eliminate child marriage.
  • Increase the number of all schools and teacher training institutions that provide CSE to 75%.




Countries under the ESA Commitment are accountable to ensure progress toward the Commitment targets. To this end, countries have been tasked to develop work plans across different sectors and partners connected to the Commitment targets. The education and health sectors alone cannot realize the outcomes. Collaboration with other sectors such as gender, youth and local government, among others will be critical. Other important partners include young people and traditional, civil and faith leaders. Leadership from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC) are critical in monitoring each country’s progress. A Regional Accountability Framework has been created. The work is supported by a technical group that is responsible for tracking the progress for commitment targets.

Regional Accountability Framework

As part of the framework, 20 indicators were developed to monitor the progress of the commitment under the following categories:

  1. Eliminating new HIV infections among adolescents and young people aged 10-24
  2. Promoting gender equality and empowerment
  3. Promoting access to services among young people
  4. Scaling up comprehensive sexuality education
  5. Developing and scaling up adolescent and youth sensitive health services
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