oa Africa Insight - Sub-Saharan Africa and the population issue: the cases of Kenya and Swaziland

Volume 15, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



The theme of the World Development Report for 1984 is population change and its links with development. The report concludes that for some countries development may not be possible at all unless slower population growth can be achieved soon. The position in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) is generally more serious than elsewhere in the world. The report states: Sub-Saharan Africa has the fastest population growth rate and the highest fertility (births per woman) in the world. Between 1970 and 1979 population increased at 2,7 per cent a year, up from 2,5 per cent a year during the 1960s. In a few East African countries population is growing at 4 per cent or more a year Of the thirty-three sub-Saharan countries with more than 1 million people, thirty have a total fertility rate of 6 or more. Kenya, Rwanda and Zimbabwe have fertility rates of 8 or more. Probably fewer than 10 per cent of married women of reproductive age are using modern contraception. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in which fertility has not begun to fall, and in which population growth is expected to accelerate in the next decade. Indeed, the prospects for much of sub-Saharan Africa will be particularly grave.

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