For Africa, there are many conversations that can be had over the problems troubling the continent, a wide range of issues really. The issue of the ever-rising population of Africa is a conversation that should be gaining more traction than it is having now. Ultimately, the issue of resources versus a growing population will cause serious headaches more than it is causing right now.
There are some staggering figures which will cause serious problems in the near-future. Yes, near-future. By 2050, 2.2 billion more people would be added on Earth, and half of that growth will occur in Africa. There will be an additional 1.3 billion on the continent, making Africa account for the highest population growth. Nigeria, which is currently the world's seventh most populous nation, will be the largest constituent of Africa's population boom.
These figures are inevitably going to pose a huge quandary for African governments as regards to how public infrastructure, much of which is already at a deficit, will keep pace with the rising number of citizens. By 2050, half of the world's population will just be concentrated in nine countries (five in Africa): India, Nigeria, DR Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the US, Uganda and Indonesia.
The argument on the population boom especially for Africans will always revolve on the status of the young population for they make up the largest part of the population on the continent. There are proponents who favour the notion that the population must "stay young". But in environments with no proper, adequate jobs and solid infrastructure, what's in it for the young population? Developed nations are facing the problem of an "elderly" population, but some experts warn that this problem could affect some developing nations too. The developed nations would obviously crave for a young population. But in Africa, the young population is marginalized and causing a massive conundrum for the leaders (most of them who don't care anyway).
The question that must be asked is, with the population rising, what mechanisms are there in place to create opportunities for the young population? The United Nations argues that the population growth will make it "harder" for governments in African countries which are already struggling with reducing poverty and hunger as well as improve access to standard health and education systems.
Countries like Gambia have launched some interesting initiatives. The Gambian government launched a policy initiative on May 15 called Youth and Trade Roadmap to create jobs and make the Gambia’s market more amenable to young entrepreneurs—all paid for by Europe. It’s the latest in an attempt by European nations to reverse illegal migration by sending aid and other forms of incentives to African governments.
The issue of an ever-rising population in Africa is a cause for concern that requires substantive solutions to avert crises that may ensue in the near-future. More knowledge will need to be invested to this effect.