• Africauptodate

Africa’s Population To Triple By 2100. Fortune Or Misfortune?

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

World population will be 8.8 billion by 2100, about 2 billion less than current projections by the United Nations, suggest findings of global population study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) of the University of Washington, USA, published on July 15, 2020 and reported by some media on July 16, 2020.

Albeit the findings of the study show an overall decline or stagnation of the world population by 2100, they, however, suggest that the population of Africa as whole will explode and triple in 80 year time, increasing from the current 1.1 billion to 3 billion by 2100. Nigeria will witness the fastest population growth resulting in its population increasing to 800 million by 2100, and becoming a country with the second largest population in the world behind India.

While Africa’s overall population is expected to swell massively in the coming 80 years, that in most countries in other continents will decline, according to the IHME study. In some countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Poland, their populations are projected to shrink by up to 50% by 2100.

The implications of the huge population increase in Africa by 2100 for the continent are not clearly known at the moment. Also, it is important to note that not all countries in Africa may experience rapid population growth.

Notwithstanding, nevertheless, one thing known for sure is, the implications of the projected population explosion in Africa for relevant individual countries will depend on whether or not the population explosion will be accompanied by a matching economic boom in the continent entailing, among others: sustained thriving indigenous manufacturing industry that will convert the continent’s vast natural assets into capital assets, as well as established commercial, health, education, and agricultural sectors.

On one hand, if the population explosion will be followed by matching economic boom, then it will be a fortune in terms of labor and market, that may transform Africa into one of the biggest economies in the world.

On the other hand, failure by the African economy to excel adequately in the next 80 years, the population explosion may be catastrophic, implying, among others, unemployment, housing shortages especially in urban areas, food shortages and starvation, public health issues, environmental degradation, urban decay, water supply shortages, all sorts of internal and cross-border conflicts, and out-migration, hence increase in overall poverty.


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