By Esther Afolaranmi. Esther is a Law Graduate from Bowen University, and will be working with the Animal Activist Legal Defense Project at the University of Denver this year. Esther has career interests in Corporate/ commercial law practice, real estate management, family law and a keen interest in human rights. She enjoys and excels at being the voice of the voiceless.
The population issue in Africa is unquestionably significant and of serious concern. High birth and death rates, rising population size and density, and an increasing dependency burden all translate into higher demands on African governments, with issues bordering on underemployment, persistent poverty, crime, and political unrest, causing serious stress in many African economies.
The pertinent questions to be answered are:
- Does having multiple children effect a family’s current state of well-being and prospects?
- Does a rapid population growth harm the economy’s ability to function as a whole to reach and sustain general well-being?
- Will African nations be able to raise the standard of living for their citizens in light of the present and projected rates of population growth? To what extent can basic social services like housing, transportation, sanitization, and security be provided for its citizens?
- How will African nations manage the enormous growth in their labour forces over the coming decades? Will there be plenty of job opportunities or will it need a significant effort to keep unemployment rates from rising?
- What are the effects of increased population growth rates on the likelihood that the world’s impoverished will be able to escape the agony of absolute poverty? Will the global food supply and distribution system be adequate not only to feed the predicted population growth in the upcoming decades, but also to raise nutritional standards so that everyone especially children can eat well?
- Will African nations be able to raise the standard of their health and educational systems in order to give everyone at least a shot at receiving appropriate health care and a foundational education in light of the population expansion that is expected?
In light of the aforementioned concerns, it is crucial to frame the population issue in terms of qualities of human life rather than just numbers or densities: prosperity instead of poverty, education instead of illiteracy, and ample opportunities for the next generation of children in place of current restrictions. If population trends are positive, they expand man’s alternatives and provide him more options. Population control therefore serves as a tool to improve living, not as an end in
itself. This is what the concern about population is about, or ought to be for Africa.