population explosionUganda is currently experiencing what may be described as a population explosion. From the World Watch Institute:

Within the next few decades, the east African nation of Uganda is likely to have the highest population growth in the world, according to a new report from the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy group. The country’s current population of 27.7 million is projected to explode to 130 million by 2050, a nearly fivefold increase, notes the study. According to Carl Haub, a demographer at PRB, such expansion will entrap the country in poverty and instability. “No one would consider such a rate of growth to be sustainable,” he says.

At 3.6 percent, the African island nation of Mayotte, an overseas collective of France located in the Comoros chain, has the highest annual rate of natural increase today, according to the study. Uganda’s current growth rate is 3.1 percent, while the world average is 1.2 percent.

The Ugandan government’s lack of commitment to family planning is the main reason for the country’s extraordinary population growth, says Haub. The PRB study indicates that only 20 percent of married Ugandan women between the ages of 15 and 49 have access to contraception. Women in Uganda have an average of 6.9 children, compared with a global average of 2.7 and an African average of 5.1. Some government officials consider this a boon and may in fact be encouraging high birth rates; President Yoweri Museveni has called the nation’s population explosion a “great resource.”

This situation seems unsustainable. There are simply not that many jobs, or economic opportunities available to cater for this rapidly growing population. This population also puts tremendous pressure on the country’s limited resources in the provision of social services such as basic healthcare, decent education, and so on. Of course, the likely outcome will be that poverty and sickness will increase exponentially.
 
What can we do to reverse this trend? Is it possible to slow down this rapid population growth?
 
Or are you in agreement with President Museveni, who seems to see this population explosion in a positive light?
 

Uganda’s growing population is our most important asset that should be used for increased productivity in order to achieve economic transformation for the country, President Yoweri Museveni has said.

He said Uganda’s growing population is not a problem, but it is important to exploit it in order to address the country’s development needs. He added that the Cabinet has adopted a revised National Population Policy for social transformation and sustainable development.

Come and discuss!
 

If you are an open minded person whose opinions are formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason and are interested in meeting like-minded individuals – you are welcome to join us at the meeting.

The November 2011 Freethinkers’ Night is going to take place on Thursday, 24th November, at 4 Points Bar & Restaurant, Centenary Park, Kampala, starting 6PM. Entrance is FREE.

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