The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative, Niyi Ojuolape has implored traditional rulers, government, celebrities and religious leaders to champion the fight against all forms of violence against women and girls in the country.

According to Niyi Ojuolape, all stakeholders in influential positions should come on board to reduce all forms of violence against women in attainment of the Sustaining Development Goal 5 by 2030.

He said adolescents played a crucial role in the development of a country hence the need for stakeholders to advance their well-being to conform to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) agenda.

Mr Ojuolape was speaking to Adom News at the opening of the 2020 Partners’ Learning Forum (PALEF) on under the theme: “the Unfinished Business: Utilizing Shared Knowledge and Practices for Advancing ICDP in Ghana”.

“Everybody needs to come on board, my advice to all and sundry is that the work of reducing preventable maternal mortality of bringing to zero and eradicating the incident of gender-based violence harmful practices, it not that of the partners alone, everybody needs to come on board” Mr Ojuolape stated.

“Everybody needs to come on board, it is not that of UNFPA, the partners, government alone, it is the responsibility of everybody and in particular every leader at every level that’s why we reach out to traditional leader, faith based leaders, community leaders and all gatekeepers who have influence, so even our celebrities, pastors and imams needs to come on board, so my message is that please let us all join hands to ensure that the adolescent girl child of Ghana is able to achieve her full potential” UNFPA Country Representative stressed.

The forum seeks to facilitate a fertile ground for the exchange of ideas that may further improve policy, programme development and implementation.

Mr Ojuolape indicated that the forum was held annually to showcase the mandate of the UNFPA and how they executed their programmes through a constellation of partners at the national, regional and district levels within the government decentralized political and developmental implementation systems.

Meanwhile, a 19-year-old, Agnes Obetsebi, a beneficiary of UNFPA and the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) training expressed gratitude to the stakeholders for the impact they had made in her life.

The 19-year-old entrepreneur said through the UNFPA training programme, she was now independent and had also trained others. She is saving towards her tertiary education.

Representatives from the Canadian High Commission, Ministry of Finance, civil society organizations, stakeholders, beneficiaries among others, attended the programme.