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It slows us down Using the United Nations 2009 world population prospects, a blog by World Bank Chief Economist for Africa, Shanta Devarajan says Africa’s population will most likely double by 2050.  Now I’m sure 2050 sounds like a lifetime away to some people and being the humans that we are, don’t care much for the people that will surely face the consequences of our ever growing population.

It slows us down

Using the United Nations 2009 world population prospects, a blog by World Bank Chief Economist for Africa, Shanta Devarajan says Africa’s population will most likely double by 2050.

Now I’m sure 2050 sounds like a lifetime away to some people and being the humans that we are, don’t care much for the people that will surely face the consequences of our ever growing population.

According to the blog, by 2050, Africa will be home to more than 20% of the world’s population. This makes Africa the fastest growing continent with its rapid growth shifting the global population balance. It says that at a time in1970, there were two Europeans for every African but by the time most people are retired in 2030 there will be two Africans for every European!

Africa is one of the poorest continents in the world regardless of the natural riches we boast of. In many ways, rapid economic growth is a sort of multiplier of bad economic policy. Family planning can help lead a poor nation to prosperity because the smaller the crowd; the easier the maintenance.

Some governments are not in the least bothered about the seriousness of the problem Africa is facing. Officials are too busy fattening their wallets to care about poor education or lack of proper health services for the people. There is also not enough being done to control the birth rates in some countries.

It’s shocking to find a family of 12 without a proper roof on their heads and neither parent earning a dime. Instead, they live off the poor crops they grow, going hungry more times than necessary. I’m not saying that population growth is the principal cause of all the world’s problems but if controlled it can surely contribute to the solutions.

To have a steady economy, there needs to be a steady growth in the population; one that is manageable. But how can our population be managed if it is already out of hand. There are more job seekers than creators, whether government or private organizations some people are being paid so poorly that it leaves them almost working for nothing.

According to the population media website, rapid population growth will emerge the expansion of human activity. The expansion of human activity will cause the destruction of forests and the loss of biological diversity which may lead to instability of ecological systems and reducing ability of the bionetwork to fight global warming.

In reality, the population growth is following by increasing of water pollution, erosion of hillsides and silting of rivers, increasing of greenhouse gases, rising sea levels, growing weather severity, disruption of agriculture, and increase in energy and resources consumption. If this does not sound like a need for fewer babies then I do not know what will.

In terms of poverty, Africa is a ‘pro’ at that and we do not need to be educated on the matter. We can deliver it ourselves on a silver platter! Yet we are the ones dropping babies left, right and center with no concern whatsoever for the already fragile economy.

I am not saying people should stop having babies; I am saying people should have babies with a plan—a plan on how they will feed, clothe and school them. Rapid population growth is not out biggest problem but controlling it can save what is left of the dying economy.

rachelgaruka@yahoo.co.uk