Another urgent admonition from population specialist, Dr. Madeline Weld, Ph.D., President, Population Institute, Canada. Dr. Weld has for years pointed out the failure to address explosive population growth.
Her work deserves support as her message is so clear and unfortunately not replicated often enough by others in a climate where a rising tide of anti-choice voices makes the need for more birth control options versus restrictive religious attacks on choice based on non-secular fantasies.
Her current article cites the new report from the African Development Bank that predicts the need in Africa to “create about 12 million new jobs every year to prevent unemployment from rising.”
Africa: Burgeoning Youth Population, Not Enough Jobs
By Madeline Weld | 28 February 2019
Population Institute Canada
Africa’s working-age population could rise from 705 million in 2018 to nearly 1 billion in just over a decade, leading to high unemployment as millions of young people join the labor market and the pressure to provide decent jobs intensifies.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) predicts that at the current rate of labour force growth, Africa would need to create about 12 million new jobs every year to prevent unemployment from rising.
The AfDB’s 2019 report concludes that only half of new labour force workers will find employment if current trends continue, which would mean that close to 100 million people could be out of jobs, and that most of the jobs available will be in the “informal sector” – jobs that are neither taxed nor monitored by government.
Coupled with the prospect of high unemployment is the potential for widespread food shortages across the continent. Small-scale farmers constitute 70 percent of people engaged in the agricultural sector in Africa. Many find themselves unable to effectively curb disease and pest outbreaks and, as farm sizes decrease due to the high population growth rate, so too does their food production. The result is that small-scale farmers are earning smaller and smaller incomes, and 65 percent of their households are trapped in a cycle of poverty, surviving on less than $2 a day.
Although agricultural stimulation policies and programs currently aim to increase food production, these efforts are undermined by a high population growth rate, which results in land fragmentation as family farms are divided among offspring, decreasing the chances of large families being able to sustain themselves. And while agricultural production in Africa is starting to feel the effects of climate change, a recent study found that projected rapid population growth will be the leading cause of food insecurity and widespread undernourishment across Africa. When the study examined future scenarios with and without the effects of climate change, very little to no difference in undernourishment projections were found, suggesting that population growth is the dominant driver of change.
Even if fertility rates fall substantially in the near future, the youthful age structure of the African population makes it likely that population growth will continue for some time. Given the ominous prospects for employment and food security on the African continent, its leaders should take measures to slow and reverse population growth through education and support for family planning, and governments of developed countries should make those objectives a significant and meaningful part or their foreign aid.
Her work is most deserving of your support.
Weld again cited the imbecility of adding more populations when they can’t be employed or fed or properly offered the basic needs of a decent life. We can only expect the results she predicts as creating more and more the kind of upheavals which make daily headlines around the world.
What is the answer to the question I pose in the title of this OP ED? Indifference of elected leaders, religiously ideological opposition to birth control, and most importantly the lack of broad public understanding that such growth will increasingly affect our capacity to survive as a species.
Yes, the onset of global warming, rising terrorism, an inevitable growing malfunctioning of the world’s democracies that could ironically lead to even more harsh dictatorships which never end happily.
To the folks who agree the world’s fertility is declining, Weld offers a rebuttal which you can read here.
From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013
By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
No one ever dies of overpopulation – Madeline Weld
How the world went from 170 million people to 7.3 billion, in one map
Vatican control of World Health Organization population policy: An interview with Milton P. Siegel
Catholic Church – Unethical Obstruction of Family Planning
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