The Nation Population Council (NPC) has called on the government to take measures geared at reducing the population growth rate of the country.
Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, Executive Director of NPC, yesterday expressed concerns at the fast pace at which Ghana’s population is growing.
Her fears steams from the fact that high growth rate is contributing to large proportion of young people and fewer skilled workforce which is impacting the provision of quality healthcare resources, relevant education, employment as well as sustainable economic growth
She also noted that utomation and the use of current technologies could worsen the unemployment situation already facing the country as a result of high population hence her appeal for the country to create measures aimed at reducing population growth.
Dr Appiah was speaking at the presser in commemoration of the 2022 World Population Day ( WPD) which falls on July 11.
The WPD is a day is set aside to enable vital stakeholders critically analyse relevant population and its related issues that supports or hinders accelerated socio-economic development for national attention and action.
This year’s celebration is hinged on the theme ‘Prioritizing rights and choices; harnessing opportunities, the road to a resilient future for all.’
Giving some statistics to support her claims on Ghana’s gargantuan population, Dr Appiah stated that in 2021, the United Nations World Population Prospects recorded 139,821,086 births and 60,119,439 deaths in 2021.
Out of the total figure, Europe contributed to 4,047,432 births and recorded 5, 186,787 deaths whilst Africa had 49, 034,104 births and 13, 378,519 deaths and Ghana recorded 1,053,400 births and 288,378 death out of the total figure, she indicated.
She attributed Ghana’s high population growth to teenage pregnancies, high levels of child marriage and high unmet need for family planning with its associated high social, environmental and economic costs.
She said these three factors puts strain on family and national income whiles increasing family and national expenditure mainly on consumption to the disadvantage of production.
She therefore gave policies that which when implemented will help the country achieve a slow pace of population growth.
She said the country must have a policy that respects reproductive health rights and choices of all especially girls and women.
“For Africa and that matter Ghana to reduce its population growth rate to sustainable levels, it is important for the leaders to recognize the established fact that reproductive health policy is a vital economic policy and so respecting reproductive health rights and choices of all especially girls and women should be of high priority”, Dr Leticia.
She specifically said Ghana should ensure that it tackles child marriage, teen pregnancies and unmet need for family planning.
She noted that tackling these areas will improve maternal and child health and well-being at a reduced health, social, environmental and economic costs.
“This will significantly reduce the unsustainable level of population growth rate in Africa and Ghana. It will help produce fewer healthier young people and increase the proportion of skilled workforce leading to accelerated socio-economic development”, she noted.
The Country Representative for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Barnabas Yisa on his part advised the government to make investments that is in tangent with the population growth.
He said the population growth at the time of independent is not the same as now which means infrastructures and other developmental structures must correspond with the growth rate.