Africa’s population is growing at a dangerous rate, Ethiopia has a population of 85 million, among which about 10 million is starving, the country is reported to have a growth rate of 2.6%, which means in 20 years Ethiopia’s population will hit about 130 million. Egypt’s recent unrest was about food and standard of living, but their population stands to double in just over 30 years, so they will still continue to starve. Many African’s are still not using birth control and family planning measures, if we continue to procreate at the rate we are now, though regrettably, many more will starve to death. Somalia,is currently going through acute famine, with no food to eat or water to drink, with many already dead, also parts of Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan and Uganda experiencing the worst drought in 60 years; but that has not stopped more children being sired in the region. Josette Sheeran of the World Food Programme wrote that “A hungry world is a dangerous world. Without food, people have only three options: they riot, they emigrate or they die.”
Africans have failed to address the imminent disaster inherent in the continent because of their increasing population. Despite the history of bad and clueless leadership, poverty, weak economy and famine currently ravaging several parts of Africa, its people have continued to procreate at rapid rate, increasing the already overpopulated planet if compared with the available resources. This rapidly increasing population is having a big negative-impact on our world and until we began to address this, we may not start to get solution to the impending trouble we are subjecting the continent to.
The United Nation’s population division has recently predicted that the world’s population will reach 7 Billion by the end of this year. This is a big global problem and will have further negative impact in the already over-stretched resources of the world. There is need to be concerned and Africa needs to be more concerned if it is to improve the situation of the continent and manage the already limited resources. United Nation has noted that the world population has increased by 1 Billion over the last 12 years and 4.5 Billion over the last 60 years, while our food supply and energy reserve has not expanded to keep pace with the the population growth. The surge is having a great impact on our planet and if it continues, it may well be catastrophic.
More than 2 in 5 pregnancies in Africa are unintended. The rate at which we are having children needs to be urgently addressed if we aim to move the continent forward. The intuition in different parts of Africa that women must procreate as many children as they can to show they are fertile, should be stopped immediately, the world has gone past that era. Now is the time to plan; rather than forecast the future, we need to start securing it. Let us make provisions to secure and protect the children we already have, than make more to suffer.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to put on the television on a daily basis, all you are inundated with is the pictures of some poor, improvised African children, looking weak, lean and malnourished, with some charity organisations seeking help to feed and care for them. You also see their still pregnant mothers in the background, all looking stunted and malnourished, yet they have not stopped making more children or use birth control measures. Furthermore, it is becoming very difficult to explain to our western neighbours and friends that this is not entirely the situation in the whole of Africa, as they have been made to believe this how we live in Africa. They see these debilitating and heart breaking pictures everywhere they go, from the wall of their malls and train stations to their offices, on the billboards in the street and when they turn on their television, these pictures are everywhere.
Some may argue that our growing population in Africa is not the problem, but the scarce resources. Some may also attribute it to the African Government. We have our way of passing our aberration on others, which is why we constantly attribute the food shortage, hunger, poverty and famine we have experienced in Africa to our leaders; though Africa has a history of bad, sit-tight and clueless leadership, however we all have roles to play to manage the population explosion. We need to address this issue head-on and realise that if we do not stop procreating as we are at the moment, the amount of per-capital arable land for food production in Africa will soon get to a dangerously and unbearable low-level.
We can sure manage this situation if we reduce the number of children we progenerate and concentrate our energy in developing our continent, rather than the embarrassing situation we put ourselves. Africa will develop if our energy is galvanised towards creating ideas and not children we cannot cater for as we do at the moment. We are not created to simply eat and procreate, it takes more energy and time to keep procreating than it will for us to develop a model continent.
There is no doubt that the growing population is affecting the decreasing resources in Africa and adversely impacting on its sustainability. This growth is having direct impact on the environmental cycle, our glaciers, lakes and forests are disappearing, fresh water is scarce, there is limited food to go round and inadequate power supply. We are all in this together, we need to curtail the menace and play our part if we want Africa to work.