Falling fertility rates in Africa
A mother breastfeeding her youngest child in Hayelom, Tigray, in Ethiopia, one of the countries showing falling birth figures.
Photo: © FAO/IFAD/WFP/Petterik Wiggers

02.07.2019

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Scientists are demanding that the topic of population growth be given more attention in foreign policy and development cooperation debates, since falling birth figures can have a crucial impact on development.

Scientists at the Berlin Institute for Population and Development, Germany, pointed out in June 2019 that falling birth figures could have a positive impact on the development of countries. They demand that this topic not be eclipsed, despite the desire to have children and the number of births within a family being a very sensitive topic. In their opinion, the issue will become one affecting society as a whole as well as politics if it can influence the development of entire societies.

The scientists recommend an open, clear and pragmatic discussion of the challenges associated with high population growth in order to identify means and possibilities to reduce it in a democratic and humane way. This is the basis for improving living conditions in the affected states, they say.

Achieving a demographic bonus

Nowhere else in the world is the population growing as fast as it is in Africa – by 2050, the number of people living on the continent will have almost doubled.

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