Is Africa's demographic growth sustainable?

Africa's demographic trailblazer

How falling numbers of children accelerate development

Alisa Kaps, Ann-Kathrin Schewe, Reiner Klingholz

Nowhere else in the world is the population growing as rapidly as in Africa. By the middle of the century, 2.5 billion people are likely to live on the continent - almost twice as many as today. The main reason for this is the persistently high number of children, which makes it increasingly difficult to provide the next generation with hospitals, schools, living space and, above all, jobs. On top of that, the high fertility rates prevent a change in the age structure, which could result in a demographically-related development boost such as that experienced by the Asian tiger states. In order to make development progress and realize a “demographic dividend”, the decline in fertility rates in Africa must urgently accelerate. Some regional pioneers show that this is possible with a prudent demographic policy. The study examines which interventions can contribute to falling child numbers and what other African countries can learn from the experiences of the pioneering countries.

 

The Berlin Institute thanks the Federal Foreign Office for funding the project. The Berlin Institute is solely responsible for the content of the study.

Topics: Population development in Africa, demographic dividends, international demographic policy
published: 2019
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