Are you ready for this incredible piece of news?
In 1950, Africa only made up 9 per cent of the world’s population right? But according to a report by the United Nations, that will change by the end of the century; the numbers will increase substantially, with 40 per cent of humanity being of African descent.
Yes. 40 percent.
There’s been a seismic shift in demographic trends, and its said to be transforming the world into an increasingly African place that will make way for huge economic opportunities and new risks for political instability and extreme poverty, according to a United Nations agency says.
“The future of humanity is increasingly African,” says a report by the UN children’s agency to be issued on Tuesday, based on revised population forecasts that reveal an unprecedented demographic shift this century.
While this growth could result in a larger labor force, and “transform the continent, breaking centuries-old cycles of poverty and inequality,” UNICEF warns urgent discussion is needed soon as the opposite is also possible. “Unless investment in the continent’s children is prioritized, the sheer burden of population expansion has the potential to undermine attempts to eradicate poverty through economic growth, and worse, could result in rising poverty and marginalization of many if growth were to falter.”
It is probably no surprise that the greatest boom in population is occurring in the poorest and most fragile countries, such as the impoverished West African nation of Niger, where the average woman has 7.5 children, the UNICEF report says. The next-highest fertility rate is in a neighbouring country, Mali, where the average woman has 6.8 children.
The report calls for “courageous and determined action” to face the challenges of the African population boom. It cites, for example, the continued lack of contraception for many African women. About a quarter of all women in marriages or unions in sub-Saharan Africa lack the reproductive heath services they need, the report says. It also calls for stronger programs to improve the education of girls and to end child marriage.
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(Photo Source: AP)