Free «Population and Poverty in Africa» Essay Sample

In Africa, poverty and population go hand in hand. Africa is the continent with the poorest countries in the world. One explanation for this trend is the high population growth rate compared to the rate of economic growth. Even though diseases such as AIDS and malaria have led to mortality, the population growth is still high and makes more than 2%. This has led to the building up of pressure on public services and infrastructure. Health care, education, housing among other basic services are insufficient, thus aggregating poverty levels (Ezeh, Bongaats and Mberu 143). There is also environmental degradation that makes the problem even worse. Health problems have contributed to poverty in Africa. The condition has even been worse in urban areas where slums have sprung up due to massive rural-urban migration. Various measures to improve health, such as immunization, nutrient supplementation, provision of clean water and sanitation, and provision of medicine have been implemented, but it has not help solve the problem.

Agricultural growth has been on the decline in Africa, while population growth is on the rise, as noted in the 2000s (Thornton, Jones, Ericksen and Challinor 117). Climatic changes have also negatively affected agriculture. There has been a 4% increase in the temperatures and reduction in rainfall in regions where agriculture is dependent on rain water. In addition, the increase of population has led to the decline in cultivatable land due to land fragmentation. Research to develop crops and livestock adaptable to the changing environment has been inadequate. Farmers also prefer cash crops at the expense of food crops, thereby reducing the volume of food required to feed the population. The number of people at the risk of starvation has increased to 700 million in the year 2007, having the tendency to further increase, so that in the year 2010 it made up 1 billion of those suffering. It is evident that high population growth in Africa has led to unfavorable social, economic, and environmental pressures. What one does not get clearly is what steps the international community has taken to address this disturbing situation?


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