German Minister commends RFPD Project in Nigeria
German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Gerd Müller commended the work of the Rotarian Action Group for Population and Development (RFPD) in promoting safe maternal and child health and ensuring women have access to professional family planning services. He also pledged continued support of the German government to RFPD projects in Nigeria.
During his recent trip to Nigeria, Minister Müller visited one of the RFPD projects at the Nyanya General Hospital in Abuja where he monitored the Nationwide Family Planning Campaign and developments in the maternal and child health programmes funded by BMZ. He participated in a community dialogue and interacted with mothers.
He said that couples should be helped to embrace family planning noting that it is key in ensuring child spacing as well as promoting children’s access to quality education and better living conditions. He also said that helping mothers survive and improving access to professional family planning services gives women the power to decide on how many children they want to have. German programmes to promote family planning aim to give women and men the opportunity to exercise their sexual and reproductive self-determination. They are able to decide freely on the number and spacing of their children as well as to avoid unwanted pregnancies and abortions.
“We need to make sure that the second pregnancy does not come too soon and that the third pregnancy if need be, is well thought of,” Müller said. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with 200 million people, and if the population continues to grow at the current rate, it will have the third-largest population in the world.
Minister Müller remarked that, "Nigeria is one of Germany's most important partners in Africa with an unbelievable dynamic. At the same time, Nigeria is the country with the largest number of poor people worldwide. The county can and must do more here as a resource-rich country and the largest economy on the continent. I am talking to the government about reforms and prospects for young people. We support Nigeria in the agricultural sector, the promotion of renewable energies and family planning.”
Nigeria’s economy including agricultural, industrial and commerce is dependent on successful family planning measures. When a country’s population continues to grow, it will consume more and more. But a family and a country with fewer dependents in terms of young people invests more money to develop the economy.
Germany’s development policy in the field of population dynamics is guided by the Programme of Action from the Cairo Conference on Population and Development. The 1994 Programme of Action formulated clear goals for a sustainable, rights-based and gender-sensitive policy in the field of population and development. Sexual and reproductive health is recognised as a self-determined right. In order to contribute to sustainable population policy in the countries with which Germany cooperates, the German government provides support to programs concerned with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), maternal and child health (MCH), and universal, inclusive access to family planning and contraceptives.