AfDB Marks 2010 World Population Day

12/07/2010
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The 2010 World Population Day which was observed on Sunday, July 11, 2010 raises urgent development issues in Africa, especially issues relating to poverty reduction which is the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s key operations mandate.

The theme of this Year’s World Population Day is:  “Everyone Counts-Say What You Need”.
The overall world population had grown from about 2.9 billion in 1960 when most African countries were just gaining their political independence to surpass a 6.8 billion people today.

“No where on earth is this growth more rapid than in Africa,” the Bank’s Chief Education Expert,. Judicaël Etienne Porgo, said. Africa's population had grown from less than 0.1% before 1900 to about 3.2%, increasing from an estimated 257 million in 1960 to about 997 million or about 13% by the end of 2009. An increasing number of Africans are being added every year to the number and the population continues to grow – despite wars, civil unrest, famine and pandemics such as HIV-AIDS.  

Africa and Asia currently account for an estimated 95% of global population growth whereas these regions already have some 75% of the world’s population.

It is estimated that Africa’s population will nearly double to about 1.8 billion by 2050.

For the Bank Group, the core population issues being tackled include  improvements in people's  living conditions - income levels,, basic infrastructure and amenities, health, including HIV/AIDS and other pandemics.

Mr. Porgo also cited school enrolments for all genders, notably in higher education with particular reference to science and technology, issues of food supply and adequacy of social amenities which are key to the population’s general well-being.

For a continent still facing sporadic food crisis, depleting tropical forests, cannibalized ecosystems, living under climatic stress, with animal species systematically being reduced, population issues are far more than absolute number of births, migrations and locations.

He said the Bank was doing everything to mobilize resources and undertake appropriate operational measures to meet the population challenges.