"Reasons ‘alarming’ population rise worries African Union, AF" - ACBF
The agency also attributed poverty on the continent to what it described as an alarming rise in population.
The ACBF Executive Secretary, Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie said this on Friday in an interview with Newsmen on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank meetings in Washington DC, United States of America.
Nnadozie said one of the major problems dragging down the continent was the fact that its population was growing fast without matching economic growth.
“Demographic growth is one of our biggest challenges. The rate of growth of the population is too high to be maintained by the rate of growth of the economy.
“Therefore, we can no longer hide from discussing the issue of high population growth rate, the youth budge which could either be a demographic dividend or demographic time bomb or catastrophe.
“If you have economic growth even if its double digits but does not create jobs, you are not going to break that link between growth and poverty reduction.
“So we need to make sure that growth occurs in the areas where it will affect the poor positively, which is in informal economies, agriculture, and in particular among women.
“Policies that focus on women are important because they (women) are going to be the largest proportion of the poor people,” he said.
Nnadozie also called on African heads of state and governments to make investments in education and health sectors a priority, in order to reduce poverty.
He also spoke on the need for African countries to invest in human capital to achieve future development.
“If you want to industrialise, you need engineers, scientists and technicians and those who have the capacity in maths, science and innovation.
” Africa’s capacity in these areas is extremely lacking and this is why the ACBF has made it a major issue to not only bring awareness to this problem but to start addressing them.
“We have spent over 700 million dollars in about 45 African countries in building the capacity of African men and women who are the economic policy managers you see today.
“They are now able to design macro-economic policies that have made Africa resilient from global crises, manage their debt and implement policies for economic growth,” he said.
According to the World Bank, nine in every 10 extremely poor people across the world would be Africans come 2030.
The bank also called for urgent action by countries and the global community.