Africa’s demographic Dilemma


Africa’s population is growing rapidly. The high birth rate of the continent in front of an enormous challenge. Children will have to pay back however, if education, health and jobs to rise, says a study.

Africa’s population is not only young – they grow at a rapid pace. But the large number of children in the family means for the continent, not a blessing. The economic growth can not keep up in many countries, poverty is on the rise. Children as life insurance in old age – this traditional Belief is still widespread, but aggravated the demographic situation. By 2050, will double the population in Africa from 1.3 billion to 2.5 billion people.

Niger Highest Birth Rate

“Such an increase in people in the individual States problems and a country like Germany would overtax completely,” says Alisa capes, fellow of the Berlin Institute for population and development. The poor West African country of Niger is leading them as an extreme example. It had the highest rate of birth and its population will triple by 2050 even tripled. “For this ‘More’ to people there is a lack of appropriate infrastructure, health care, access to hospitals, education and jobs,” says capes, the Dilemma that is to be expected in many African countries in the future. The reason: Despite falling child mortality, fertility rates remain in a global comparison, with statistically is 4.7 children per woman, on average, high.

By 2050, will double the population in Africa to 2.5 billion people.

Effect of declining numbers of Children speeding up the development to more prosperity? Or you drop first, if the economic development is advanced? “This is a circuit,” says Kaps Interview in the DW. They investigated this question in the context of a study in the countries of Tunisia, Morocco, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Senegal. The results presented by the Berlin Institute now. “Both are true”, emphasized capes. “It takes a certain level of development, then the births and, in turn, puts incentives for new progress.” This development is well reflected in the Asian countries, the so-called economic “Tiger-States” are grown, including South Korea and Taiwan.

Education is crucial

A decisive factor for a decline in fertility is the education. “Improved education acts indirectly,” says Kaps. “The longer girls go to school, the older you are at marriage,” the study found. “You build up other prospects for the future and contribute more to the family income.” Education a guide to the change of traditional role images, which are often influenced by Religion. “The blessing of Children is for an African family is often a Must, so that the supply is guaranteed and the children are able to participate as a necessary labour force in the country.”

Education is the key to progress in Africa. This is especially true for women.

But the demographic change in Africa is, according to Jakkie Cilliers slowly. The Director of the South African Institute for security studies is also the low level of education among girls and women and lack of health care responsible. Also there is a lack of education and modern contraceptive methods. “This is a sensitive topic,” says Cilliers in the DW-Interview. However, he finds it important that a debate on this, in Africa, because it concerns the whole of society. He emphasized the focus of such a shift: More people of working age to train, so that the economy grows.

North Africa successfully: Smaller families are the Norm

“Many people believe that the great youth potential in Africa leads to economic growth, but this is only partly the case. Africa has at least three decades before the population of the demographic dividend benefits, so more income and growth can feel.” But there are already success – and in North Africa. Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco have rates according to Cilliers, the lowest Birth on the continent, after South African countries will follow with a smaller number of children per family.

Tunisians, for example, only two children on average. The North African countries to flourish economically better than others in Africa. Also, there was in Tunisia, a series of reforms over the years that have specifically targeted women. They were given more rights such as the right to vote, have to wear a veil more and enjoy higher education.

In southern Africa there are families with fewer children. But it’s jobs for the educated youth lack.

South Africa and Egypt are more advanced, currently benefit from the demographic Bonus. The occurs when the children go back to pay, the last birth to get boomers into the work force and to the national economy contribute, but they have provide later, to have fewer children. This in turn requires access to enough jobs. “Since South Africa is lagging behind, however, with large-scale unemployment,” says Cilliers.

Right to self-determination

In addition to South Africa, the small country of Botswana is in the South on a good development and has curbed the population explosion. This is evident from the study of the Berlin Institute. “We were amazed, however, has Ethiopia,” highlights Alisa capes. The country has developed in the past 25 years: The infant mortality rate was halved, the Enrollment doubled and the life expectancy is greatly increased, adds Kaps. “As a result, the children are numbers to four per family has decreased.” Similar to the development in Ghana is lost. The country will have the early benefits of reforms in the health sector, education, agriculture.

The experience, according to the study, show that children pay to go back, if it is possible for States to develop an effective and comprehensive concept, that leads to progress in the areas of education, health and job creation. Goal of the reproductive remains but self-determination. “People should be able to make the decision, how many children would you like to be himself,” says Cape. “Smaller families as the Norm – this is a process that must be gone through.”