AFRICA’S WOES: MORE PEOPLE, MORE EFFORT
The next three decades need third wave of poverty reduction in Africa
Africa’s population is projected to double in size by 2050. Between 2050 and 2100, it could almost double again, meaning the continent will have to quadruple its efforts just to maintain the current level of investment in health and education.
By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI
Women in sub-saharan Africa have an average of 0.7 more children than they want. If that number went down to zero over the next five years, the population in 2100 could change by 30 per cent, according to a new Goalkeepers report.
Based on current trends, Africa's population is projected to double in size by 2050.
Between 2050 and 2100, could almost double again.
In that case, the continent would have to quadruple its efforts just to maintain the current level of investment in health and education, which is already low.
The 2018 report co–authored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, calls for the world to accelerate investments in human capital, particularly health and education.
“If the rate of population growth slows down, there will be more resources to invest in each African's health, education and opportunity for all,” says the report.
According to Bill Gates, the goal of family planning programmes is not to hit population targets; on the contrary, it is to empower women so that they can exercise their fundamental right to choose the number of children they have, and when, and with whom.
“Fortunately, empowering couples to make decisions about their lives also improves Africa's future by changing the population growth scenario,” it said Mr Gates.
He said that the foundation has invested more than $15 billion in projects relevant to Africa and in the future, will spend even more because Africa is the world's priority for the foreseeable future. Also, investing in Africa yields results.
Studies from sub-saharan Africa show that gains in implants, now more readily available, are driving overall contraceptive use. Research to develop new methods — and to make contraceptives and high-quality family planning
Newborns share a bed at a maternity and baby unit.