11 March, 2009

Main 'reason' for Uganda's Population Explosion

Lack of electricity! That's what one of Uganda's ministers says:

A leading Ugandan economist — who is also a government minister — discovered why the country had one of the highest birth rates in the world.

The minister of State for Planning, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, told a planning workshop a few days ago, that Uganda’s high population growth rate was the result of electricity shortage and outages, which compelled couples to go to bed early.

The good professor buttressed his argument, adding that a related reason for the high population was that in Uganda, like most of Africa, one could argue, people don’t work in shifts.

“While the rest of the world is working in shifts, we in Uganda are going to bed early. Then we complain that the population is growing; why not?” he said. >>>>> more from Daily Nation

Uganda has the world's youngest population and is one of the fastest growing. In 199o, the country's population was estimated at 17 million people; and now, just 28 years later, it's estimated to be about 30 million people. With its present, fast growth rate, this population is expected to reach 55 million in 1929 and 130 million in 2050. Even with its enormous and abundant natural resources, and its huge potential for growth - Uganda simply will not be able to coop with such a fast growing population. Even the richest of countries, will find that most disturbing and daunting.

The country is still recovering from years of wars and internal strife. It's still trying to repair and build its infrastructure, and civil and social services; most Ugandans are still unemployed and live in inadequate housing; and even with one of the fastest growing economies and one of the most developed poverty programs in Africa - most Ugandans are still poor who live on less than 1 US$ a day and the country is still one of the poorest in the world. Uganda simply doesn't have the means and resources to deal with such a fast growing population. The country, at present, is not able to adequately provide the most basic of services; with the present population growth rate - all that Uganda's government is trying to do now to: provide services, reduce poverty and improve people's lives - will not be feasible.

The Ugandan authority has to act, now, and control the country's population growth rate. It's not lack of electricity that's causing this population boom; it's simply lack of proper planning.

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