The UNICEF Generation 2030/Africa Report projection indicates that by 2050, around 40 per cent of all births, and about 40 per cent of all children, will be in Africa, up from about 10 per cent in 1950
According to the report, due to the high fertility rates and rising numbers of women of reproductive age, almost two billion babies will be born in Africa; the continent’s population will double in size; and its under 18 population will increase by two-thirds to reach almost a billion children over the next 35 years.
Worldwide, Africa is the only region where the population is projected to keep increasing throughout the 21st century. Currently there are 1.2 billion people in Africa, more than five times the population in 1950. By 2050, Africa’s population will double, to 2.4 billion and eventually reaching 4.2 billion by the end of the century.
This an unprecedented projected increase in Africa’s child population size provides policymakers with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to craft a child-focused investment strategy that enables the continent, and the world, to reap the benefits of Africa’s demographic transition, UNICEF said in the report released recently.
UNICEF says investing in Africa’s children now is best hope to reap demographic dividend.
UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala explains that by investing in children now in their health, education and protection Africa could realize the economic benefits experienced previously in other regions and countries that have undergone similar demographic shifts.”