Africa’s high population hinders growth

Thursday February 9 2017

For Africa to benefit from a demographic

For Africa to benefit from a demographic transition, the report says, a significant increase in family planning, education, job creation for the growing youth population and improved poverty alleviation intervention are needed. TEA GRAPHIC | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ROBERT MBARAGA

Africa's high population and mortality rate are barriers to development, a report by the Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa says.

The study, which looked at how Africa can achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals was presented at the centre in Kigali on January 27.

According to the report, the structure of Africa’s population will, if not changed, affect job creation, food and security.

The population on the African continent is projected by the UN to double by 2050, and grow to 3.8 billion by 2100.

The report calls for special efforts to improve the health, education and agriculture sectors for Africa to meet the global goals.

“This will require key breakthrough in policy, increased levels of public and private financing, the creation and diffusion of new technologies and improved governance and accountability in all of the various sectors of the SDGs,” said Dr Belay Begashaw, the director general of SDGCA.

The report noted that African governments should attract an additional investment of between $50billion and $100 billion per year in energy, transport, water and sanitation sectors sectors.

Analysts say the slowdown in economic growth in emerging markets in several African countries is likely to lead to funding challenges.

However, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, who co-chairs the SDGCA board, is optimistic, saying “What is needed is ownership of the global goals by individual African countries.”

“The global goals should not be seen as external agenda but as an integrated part of a country’s development vision,” President Kagame added.

For Africa to benefit from a demographic transition, the report says, a significant increase in family planning, education, job creation for the growing youth population and improved poverty alleviation intervention are needed.