The State of the World Population Report (SWOP), which highlights the unfinished business of ensuring rights and choices for all individuals across the world, has been launched in Accra.
This year’s report, focused on the need for autonomy for women in making choices about their reproductive health and the need to ensure timely access to family planning materials for reduced fertility rate.
“As of February 2019, the total population of the world exceeded 7.71 billion, and this number continued to grow each day, however, in some areas, growth slowed or even declining,” the report indicated.
The SWOP indicated that China was the most populous country in the world with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, with India being the second.
Ghana was according to the report ranked the 48th most populous country in the world with a present population of nearly 30million (29,990,374) and a growth rate of 2.15 per cent.
Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, the United Nation Populations Fund (UNFPA) Representative to Ghana, who launched the launch the report, said the SWOP report was the flagship publication of the UNFPA, which outlined its activities in solving population and development issues around the world.
The year’s report, titled the “Unfinished Business”, according to him, pinpointed the lifesaving-work of the fund over the past 50 years, and articulated the importance of young people towards a bright future.
He said the launch of the report, which was Youth-Led, was a call to young people, who are the majority of Africa’s population to get involved in the discourse on the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) agenda to enable them contribute meaningfully towards the attainment of agenda 2063.
He encouraged the youth to commit to ensuring zero maternal deaths, zero unmet needs for family planning, zero gender–based violence and harmful cultural practices for all young people in Ghana and beyond.
Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, Executive Director of the National Population Council (NPC), stated that the youth were critical to development because they were between two generations and they determined how the future of any nation would be.
She likened the importance of the youth of society to that of a bone marrow in the human body, adding that, any nation that neglected its youth and did not protect them was bound to have a chaotic and miserable future.
“The National Population Council stands for the protection and growth of the youth and would continue to work hard at implementing youth friendly policies,” she noted.
Mr. Emmanuel Sin-Nyet Asigri, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority (NYA), stated that the increased population growth with majority being young, carried endless opportunities, possibilities of creativity, curiosity and energy.
“Ghana’s population is projected to double to 60 million by 2050, and this gives an idea as to how Ghana can plan for the future instead of seeing this as an alarming development, in view of the pressure it puts on the environment,” he said.
He opined that a creative way of having a productive population was to invest more in education to ensure that all citizens had access to quality and equitable education.