This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Darkly Populous Continent

The gigantic country of China with its 1.3-billion population rivalled only by India with its 1.2-billion have both attempted to reduce the rate at which their populations increase through the imposition of social controls on procreation. And while the rising tides of new births have been stemmed over the years the consequences of imposing limits on families now haunt both countries with an abundance of young men and a dearth of young women with which to pair the men. A good a formula as any to reduce a population's growth, but one that results in social upheaval of a type that bodes ill for the future.

And then there is the continent of Africa to consider. Africa, where countless billions of national treasuries have poured into the continent in efforts to aid its various countries to cope with endemic poverty in hopes that the succession of governments and their leaders would find a way to enact civil laws benefiting populations among whom a workforce and entrepreneurs could be depended upon to raise themselves out of the mire of backwardness and aspire toward a decent future where tribal antagonisms and conflict and corruption would fade into the past.

Not happening. And won't be, any time soon. All that treasury meant to assuage the empathetic guilt of advanced countries of the world has amounted to nothing positive, excluding the wealth acquired by those in position of power and the authority to take for themselves what was meant to alleviate the plight of the indigent. Fertility rates in Africa, despite poverty and disease and violence, are high, about 4.7 children per woman. Globally the rate is 2.5.

Three-fifths of Africa is younger than 25 years of age. Full employment is not assured in countries where conflict is more common than the stability of a well-functioning state inviting trust and investment to help in manufacturing, agriculture and employment. Africa now has a collective population equalling that of India; 1.2-billion people, without the prospect of a rising economy. Another 1.3 billion Africans will be added to the global population of 2050, accounting for over half of the 2.4 billion population rise.

The population of Africa is projected to quadruple to 4.4-billion by the end of this century, even as the global population will rise to 11-billion from its current 7.4-billion. In other words by 2100, 40 percent of the population of the entire world will be African, whereas today that percentage is 16. Where is the infrastructure to accommodate that population to come from? The housing, education, health facilities, let alone transportation and food.

Judging from the disposition of financial resources collected by a myriad of African states up to now, and the little that trickles down to benefit their societies, increasing the amount of aid given to African countries does not appear to present as a viable incentive for African leaders to become responsible and answerable to their people. The tyrannies and autocracies that see to their own comforts show no sign of abating and giving way to responsible leaders.

Emigration from Africa to wealthy, advanced countries outside the continent will have its limits. War, disease, corruption and extremes of privation describe too much of the continent. Three-quarters of the world's poor live in Africa, at a time in human history when the total numbers of the poor and the dispossessed are falling. World Bank figures inform that there are more people poor in today's African than in 1990.

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