London, 11 July 2012

President Kagame gave the keynote address at the London Family Planning Summit held on world population day. Organized by the Gates Foundation and the UK Government, the London Summit on Family Planning aims to mobilize political and financial commitment to provide 120 millions girls and women access to family planning.

Speaking alongside Prime Minister David Cameron, President Museveni, President Kikwete and First Lady Chantal Compaore, President Kagame shared Rwanda’s commitment to continuously provide family planning access to women in Rwanda.

Recognizing Rwanda’s registered progress of 40% increase in use of modern contraceptive and the decrease in fertility rate from 6.4 to 4.6 in the last decade, President Kagame expressed Rwanda’s continuous commitment to doing even more to provide family planning services to more Rwandans.

President Kagame recognized the role of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in promoting the role of the private sector. “This collaboration is important because it seeks to meet the needs of the society, that in this case is the market…citizens, therefore, should set the pace and direction of family planning,” President Kagame told the audience. He reminded the audience the importance of the ownership and collective responsibility of those concerned to set the direction of family planning. President Kagame ended his address by thanking all partners for joining the efforts towards family planning for all. “Rwanda considers the ability to properly manage one’s own family size as a basic right,” he added.

President Museveni, First Lady Compaore and UNFP Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin followed President Kagame’s address and echoed the need for a multisectoral approach that includes stakeholders in a discussion that will provide women and girls the right to make decisions that can better their lives and the development of their nations. “We cannot have sustainable social achievement without social economic transformation,” President Museveni told the participants.

Following the session where Prime Minister Cameron and Melinda Gates pledged to double their contribution to family planning services, Honorary Andrew Mitchell concluded by challenging all participants to move beyond the talk and begin to “walk the walk.”