In West Africa, two hundred and twenty-five (225) women die every day while giving birth, and for every woman who dies, there are approximately thirty (30) others who suffer infirmity. These morbidity and mortality rates cause around 5 billion dollars of productivity losses in the region.
This sub-region is also characterized by the highest fertility rates in the world with a very low contraceptive prevalence and an extremely high total fertility rates. About 25% of married women age 15-49 would like to space or limit births but are not using modern contraceptive methods mainly due to the inaccessibility of family planning services.
In West Africa, compared to Anglophone and Lusophone countries, the Francophone countries have the highest rates of maternal and child mortality, the highest fertility rates, and lowest contraceptive prevalence rate.
Moreover, assistance to Sub-Saharan Francophone countries for family planning interventions remains very low. Between 1997 and 2007, this assistance was estimated to be US $ 0.86 per capita compared to US $ 1.25 per capita for Anglophone and Lusophone countries.
The Ouagadougou Partnership was launched in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in February 2011 at the Regional Conference on Population, Development and Family Planning held by the nine governments of Francophone West African countries and their technical partners and financial resources to accelerate progress in the use of family planning services in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
The Ouagadougou Partnership is based on two principles. It bets on a better coordination between donors, to optimize their support to countries and also on collaboration and cooperation at national and regional levels to avoid high rates of unmet family planning needs.
The main objective of the Partnership is to reach at least 2.2 millions additional family planning methods users in the nine countries by 2020. This objective apparently may seem low but it is in reality very ambitious in the context of the countries, characterized by low contraceptive prevalence rate, socio-cultural barriers, weak health system, a timid political commitment and limited funding.