From DW.com, the English language version of the German outlet:
Africa population growth key at AU summitRead carefully, the rest of the article appears to imply, very quietly, that the official population position of the government of Niger is dangerous lunacy. But you can’t just come out and say that.
Author Philipp Sandner
A key issue on the agenda of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa on Monday is utilizing the continent’s population growth. Many fear the rise in the continent’s population, but reject any quotas on birth rates.
“The goal is not to limit birth rates,” said Minister Kaffa Rékiatou Christian Jackou. “The goal is to have a strong, responsible and active working population.” Jackou is the minister for population in Niger, the African country with the highest population growth rate, where a woman gives birth to an average of 7.6 children.
According to Jackou, population increase should become a problem only if there is no economic opportunity in a given country. Influencing the number of births is a sensitive issue in Africa, a continent where prosperity is defined in many places by the number of children one has.
The African Union (AU) intends to tackle this sensitive issue at its summit on Monday. But the challenges are enormous. The United Nations forecasts that the population of Africa will almost quadruple to 4.5 billion by 2100 from the current 1.2 billion people. Nigeria today has about 180 million inhabitants. This figure is expected to rise to 800 million by 2100. It’s unclear how so many people can be nourished and provided with jobs.
The AU could therefore enact new measures to reduce the number of births. But in a recent statement by the body, the focus was different. It said it wants to “use the demographic dividend” by investing in youth. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn formulated it on behalf of his country: “We believe that we can create tens of thousands of new jobs by offering youth training in entrepreneurial skills and mentoring. This will stimulate economic growth and ultimately help young people and women to become economically independent.”