Africa will languish in poverty if its population growth rate is not checked – Expert

A Sociology Lecturer at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Dr Michael Kunnuji, says that Africa will  languish in poverty if its population growth rate is not checked.

Kunnuji, who disclosed this in an interview on Tuesday in Lagos said the annual African population growth rate was about 2.6 per cent, accounting for 17 per cent of the global population.

The population of the whole world is about 7.6 billion with an annual growth rate of 1.1 percent.

“To have an understanding of how fast we are growing, Africa is going to add approximately 170 million people to the world between 2020 and 2025.

“Whereas, Africa’s resources is not growing at half the rate its population is increasing. This will lead to having too many people struggling for too few resources.

“By implication, there will be extreme poverty, poor access to education and poor health outcomes which will further reduce the life expectancy of Africans.

“Also, we will continue to have family instability and political instability,” he alerted.

Kunnuji told NAN that much could be learned from the population structure of a country, of which includes the age and sex distribution because of its diverse implication to socio-economic development.

“The population structure for Africa shows that the majority of the population are dependent; they are the old and children, therefore, are not economically productive.

“This in itself tells us that the level of poverty will be high because of the dependents who need to be fed, accommodated and provided for while the people carrying the burden are so few,” he told said.

On the possible solutions, the lecturer said there were palliatives that could be taken to guard against the problems of population growth such as more interventions that would promote the use of contraceptives.

“People should begin to think toward having fewer children as well as think of having other alternatives to sex.

“People should begin to engage in activities that will keep them occupied and take their minds off activities that will lead to procreation,” Kunnuji said. 

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