Embracing Africa’s Demographic Dividend

Published on 9th December 2014

Ghana’s National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has hailed the country’s low birth rate, terming it to be of great benefit. The Commission observes that the birth rate, which has reportedly dropped from six children per woman to four children per woman on the average, will spur savings and re-investment into the economy.

While the argument holds water in the short term, it is bound to lead to development without a human face in the long term. It is important that Africa becomes optimistic and treats its citizens as a vital resource. When Africa discovers the secret of lifting the large majority of its low income population into the middle and high income levels, then shall the continent begin to wallow in productivity. The big question is not the continent’s bulging population but whether the continent is turning the population into a creative, quality and productive force. Africa should learn from countries like China and India on how they have turned their big populations into a resource.

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