Obasanjo outlines how to make an asset out of Africa's growing population

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Mon, 6 Feb 2023 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

A former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has highlighted a number of things he believes that African countries can do to create a fortune out of their growing population.

According to him, Africa’s growing population – which is projected to hit 2.5 billion by 2050, has the ability to to serve as a liability to the continent.

Using his own country as an example, Olusegun Obasanjo said that by 2050, Nigeria’s population is projected to be at 400 million, a situation he said is currently troubling.

“We will be the third largest country in the world after China and India. Should the really be a great concern to us? I would say normally that it shouldn’t be because population can be a liability or an asset.

“Now, as we have it today, it is a great liability, and don’t let us deceive ourselves. In my country, Nigeria, where we are 225 million today, 20 million of our children that should be in school are not in school – that is the beginning of insecurity, whichever way you look at it,” he stressed.

Speaking at the Insiders and Outsiders Meeting the African Security Challenge in the 2020s, organised by the Brenthurst Foundation and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), the former Nigerian president said that regardless of the situation, something good can come out of over-population.

He explained that an advantage that Africa can attain with its growing human resource, is to ensure that it equips the population with needed skills, education and knowledge in technology.

“Can we make population an asset? Of course, we can if we nurture our population from the womb; if we have food and nutrition security; if we give every child education. If everybody can acquire skills; if we give science and technology the attention it should be given.

“If we give every child employment, population will cease to be a liability; it will be an asset. But if we are not able to do this, as we have not been able to do it in the past, then there will be no hope, or any great expectation for our population. And once the population is depleted, then we have lack of protection, we have insecurity on our hands,” he stated.

The West African Security Roundtable – Insiders and Outsiders: Meeting the African Security Challenge in the 2020s was hosted by President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, and Dr. Greg Mills, Head of the Brenthurst Foundation.

The event forms part of a series across the region: Accra, Abidjan, Dakar, Niamey, and Abeokuta.

Watch President Obasanjo speaking at the event below:


Source: www.ghanaweb.com