To improve the living conditions in Africa in the long term, rapid leaps in development are necessary. Our study shows how these leaps can be achieved.
Nowhere else in the world is the population growing as fast as it is in Africa. By mid-century there could be 2.5 billion people living on the continent – almost twice as many as today. The main reason for this is the continuing high fertility rates, which make it increasingly difficult to provide hospitals, schools, housing and, above all, jobs for the up-and-coming generations.
In addition, the high fertility rates are hindering a change in the age structure that could generate a demographically determined boost to development of the kind the Asian tiger states experienced. In order to make progress in socio-economic development and to reap a “demographic dividend”, the decline in African fertility rates urgently needs to accelerate. A number of regional trailblazers have shown that a prudent demographic policy can make this possible. The study shows which interventions can contribute to accelerate fertility decline and what other African countries can learn from the experiences of these pioneering states.
The Berlin Institute would like to thank the Federal Foreign Office for funding the project. The Berlin Institute is solely responsible for the content of the study.