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UN marks World Population Day amid warnings

UN marks World Population Day this Tuesday, July 11, 2023   -  
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As the world marks UN World Population Day this Tuesday the international organisation warns that by 2050, the population could rise to 9.7 billion.

In Kenya the population is slightly above 53 million with the figure expected to grow further.

"Because of the increase of people in the world, it has become very hard for us to get food. That's why we are depending on the donors so that we can get food", affirmed Diana Dakitari, street vendor and local resident in Kawangware,one of the largest slums in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

According to the experts, high fertility rates is the cause behind the population surge in Africa.

"In the recent past we celebrated the 8 billion global population. In this, Africa contributes a significant proportion. Recently we were 800 million population but right now we are threatening one billion. But what is unique with the African population is that while other regions are having a declining population, in Africa we have the fastest growing population. This has brought a youth valley which gives us opportunity to harness the demographic dividend", said Jackson Chekweko Executive director, Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) which is a member of association of IPPF Africa Region.

While Kenya could benefit from rapid economic growth created by the swelling of the working-age population, this UN expert warns of the increased pressures on infrastructure and service delivery.

"A growing population of course poses a challenge in some areas. Many countries have set forth very ambitious development goals. They have decided to meet the needs of people in terms of education, of health care, housing, food, water, energy, security. They want to create full employment for the people and a growing population can raise the stakes in these efforts. It makes it harder to achieve these objectives, to achieve social progress, and also it might come with growing pressures on the environment", warned Michael Herrmann, Economic adviser with United Nations Population Fund.

African population is now nearing one billion people.

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