By Hassan Zaggi
Following the high rate of population growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), has called on countries in the region to take advantage of Demographic Dividend in order to reverse the trend.
The UNFPA disclosed this in a statement following the launch of its Progress Report on 2018 Demographic Dividend in West and Central Africa.
The report was launched by the Ambassador of Madagascar in Dakar, His Excellency, Mr. Auguste Pareina, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and the Regional Director of UNFPA for West and Central Africa, Mr Mabingué Ngom.
While launching the report, the UNFPA Regional Director, Mr. Ngom, revealed that available record puts population growth rate of sub-Saharan Africa at 2.7% in (compared to 1.2% worldwide), insisting that the record strongly militates against the continent’s development.
The Regional Director however, lamented that in parallel with the rapid population growth, there is a drastic reduction in resources in these countries, “as is the case in Lake Chad, which lost 90% of its area between 1970 and now.”
According to the UNFPA: “It is worthy to note that the mandate of UNFPA is to end unmet need for family planning; end preventable maternal deaths and end gender-based violence and harmful practices.
“To achieve these goals, UNFPA is working closely with countries in the region and is undertaking major projects, including the World Bank-funded SWEDD initiative to empower women and girls in the Sahel and the Sahel. “Muskoka project originally launched by France, expanded to Denmark to strengthen the health of young people and adolescents.”
In 2018, the UNFPA said, several campaigns and interventions have yielded positive results among traditional leaders, community leaders, religious leaders and opinion leaders who share the same ideal of achieving demographic dividend.
The UNFPA Regional Director, Ngom, further noted that: “We are approaching 2019 with optimism, especially as we prepare to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of our organization, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA50) ”