Drawing upon its long-standing presence in Senegal, the Council is partnering with governments, civil society, and local and international stakeholders to support country-level sexual and reproductive health (SRH) strategies, FP2030 commitments, Ouagadougou Partnership (OP) goals, and Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 5.  

Why it Matters: Francophone West Africa (FWA) is a vibrant and diverse subregion known for its strong national identities and regional collaboration. However, the nine countries that comprise FWA hold some of the highest maternal and child mortality rates and lowest contraceptive rates in the world. As compared to other regions in Sub-Saharan Africa, FWA has historically received less support from international donors for family planning (FP). There is a strong need for both public and private partners across Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo to collectively enhance access to quality SRH services.  

The Approach: This three-year project will span from 2022 to 2025. 

What we are doing: 

  • Generating evidence to inform decision-making around task-sharing, abortion and postabortion care, infertility, and other SRH areas.
  • Increasing availability and utilization of evidence for program and policy design and evaluation.
  • Advocating for enhanced access to SRH services, including safe abortion.
  • Ensuring that evidence-informed practices are disseminated to key stakeholders throughout FWA.
  • Supporting national governments and long-standing regional partnerships, such as the Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit (OPCU).
  • Providing technical support to the Senegal Ministry of Health’s Mother and Child Health Directorate to achieve new FP2030 commitments.
  • Collaborating with the West African Health Organization (WAHO) to support the organization of bi-annual Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) forums.

The Big Picture: 

  • Since 2014, the Council and the OPCU have co-organized an annual journalism competition to promote news and commentary on SRH and FP. Through production of over 150 SRH media pieces across the nine FWA countries, journalists’ work has positively impacted public discourse, policy, and programmatic change. 
  • Together with Senegal’s Ministry of Health and other civil society and ministry partners, we convened the first regional advocacy workshop to expand access to safe abortion. 
  • The Council demonstrated acceptability and obtained market authorization for the progesterone vaginal ring (PVR) in Senegal. In 2020, Senegal became the first African country to register the method for breastfeeding women.