News

Uganda, Tanzania populations to grow past 200m by 2100

Share Bookmark Print Rating
By PAUL REDFERN Special Correspondent

Posted  Saturday, June 22   2013 at  13:02

In Summary

  • Uganda, whose current population is about 28 million, expects the highest population growth rate worldwide.
  • Tanzania’s population of 45 million could increase almost fivefold to over 200 million, creating huge additional demand for resources such as food, power and water.
  • The world’s population is projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, with most growth recorded in developing regions, especially Africa.

Uganda and Tanzania’s populations could each surpass 200 million people by the end of this century while Kenya’s is forecast to grow to about 160 million people.

According to the new World Population Prospects update for 2013, Uganda, whose current population is about 28 million, expects the highest population growth rate worldwide while Tanzania’s population of 45 million could increase almost fivefold to over 200 million, creating huge additional demand for resources such as food, power and water.

Population experts attribute Uganda’s rapid population increase to failure by the government to promote family planning.

Kenya has tried to limit its population growth rate over the past two decades. Hospital records show that the maximum number of children per family is three.

But Kenya’s population is still predicted to grow by about 1 million per year or 3,000 people every day, over the next 40 years, to reach just under 100 million by 2050 and about 160 million by the end of the century.

A recent study titled Trends in Contraceptive Need and Use in Developing Countries by the Guttmacher Institute of the US indicated that East Africa has made progress in the use of contraceptives, compared with other African countries, with an increase of 15 per cent.

Between 2008 and 2012, the use of contraceptives in East Africa grew from 31 per cent to 46 per cent.

A United Nations Population Fund report shows that the use of contraceptives in Rwanda is 45 per cent. In Uganda, 30 per cent of the eligible population is using contraceptives.

Since the introduction of the family planning programme in Kenya, the total fertility rate has decreased from 6.7 to 4.7, and the contraceptive use improved from 17 per cent to 32 per cent.

Kenya’s Director of Public Health Dr Shanaaz Shariff said more men were using condoms, having vasectomies and offering financial and moral support to their partners.

The UN projections may turn out differently, as the actual numbers depend on government policies and the broader economic environment. But, in the past, population research has proved quite accurate, as social structures and behaviours change gradually.

Jonathan Monda, a doctor at Kenyatta National Hospital, said that the free maternity services the Kenya government introduced recently would not have a significant impact on the population growth because of the family planning programme that is already in place.

“This is aimed at improving the maternal and infant health and to reduce their deaths due to the deliveries that occur without medical attention,” Dr Monda said.

1 | 2 | 3 Next Page»