Despite concerted efforts and commitments by African governments and development partners to increase the use of family planning (FP) in sub-Saharan Africa, evidence shows that there is a general stagnation in FP use in eastern and western Africa.

Contraceptive use levels are considerably lower and stagnation is worse in western Africa compared to eastern Africa. Contraceptive use increased from 7% in 1991 to 15% in 2004 in western Africa, while it increased from 16% to 33% in eastern Africa over the same period.

There was greater increase in contraceptive use in the 1990s than in the early years of the twenty-first century. The increase dropped from 0.68 to 0.57 percentage points per year for western Africa and from 2.7 to 1.45 percentage points in eastern Africa.