GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

Explosive Population Growth in Tropical Africa: Crucial Omission in Development Forecasts—Emerging Risks and Way Out


Our article draws attention to a crucial factor frequently omitted from the global development agenda, namely the explosive population growth inevitably expected in Tropical Africa in the nearest decades as a result of the region’s laggardness in fertility transition. Population doubling (or even tripling) in the next decades can seriously undermine the development prospects of Tropical African countries and lead to sociopolitical destabilization or even large-scale violent conflicts with possibly global consequences. Bringing down the population growth rates (mainly through substantially reducing the fertility rates) appears to be crucial for the achievement of the 1977 “Goals for Mankind,” as well as the Millennium Development Goals, and, as we proceed to show, can be most effectively achieved through substantially increasing female secondary education, which, in turn, should be achieved by introducing compulsory secondary education and making it the first-rate development priority.