Uganda African Population Conference
Uganda to host the 8th African Population Conference in November. Photo/Minister Bahati

Under the theme: “Harnessing Africa’s population dynamics for sustainable development: 25 years after Cairo and beyond.” The first Conference was held in 1988 in Senegal and the latest Conference was held in 2015, in South Africa.

Uganda is set to host the 8th African Population Conference, from 18-22, 2019, in Entebbe in collaboration with the Union for African Population Studies.

The African Population Conference is usually held after four years, purposely to share and disseminate scientific information on key population, health and development issues, affecting the African Continent.

David Bahati, the State Minister for Finance in charge of Planning in a press briefing at Uganda Media Centre said that the African Population Conference is intended to share knowledge between researchers, Policymakers in the population circle in Africa.

“Is to provide an opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing between researchers, policymakers, public health experts among other key stakeholders in the population and development field,” Bahati said.

“Africa, in general, is a very young continent. About 40 per cent of the population is below 15 years of age, and an additional 30 per cent fall between 15-24 years. This demographic profile presents a unique opportunity to achieve massive social-economic transformation through harnessing the demographic dividends,” Bahati added.

Also, Bahati said harnessing the demographic dividends, will help Uganda achieve its 2040 vision and the National Development Plan.

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Because out of 42 million Ugandans, more than 70 per cent people are below the age of 30 years, which is a potential asset for national development.

Uganda 8th-african-population-conference
8th African Population Conference to be held in Uganda

Minister Bahati further attributed Uganda’s chance to host this international conference, to the total trust and confidence, that international communities have gained in Uganda’s peace and stability that includes, the hospitality the people of Uganda have.

“These are dividends of peace and security we have maintained over time, but also confidence in our population in terms of hospitality, so it is a good sign that the international community now have full confidence in our country and we should take advantage of this, to get some economic benefits,”

More to that, Bahati said that Uganda will not only share the pathways towards attaining the demographic dividends but will also attain more knowledge from countries that have advanced in this way.

“Uganda will not only share the pathways towards attaining the demographic dividend in Cognizance of the country’s vision 2040 as well as the sustainable development goals but will learn from countries that have advanced in domesticating the 2017 African Union Roadmap of harnessing the demographic dividends.”

Dr Jotham Musinguzi, Director of the National Population Council, however, asked the government to continue initiating more innovative programs that will see growth and development of Uganda, since the population is increasing tremendously.

“Government must continue putting in place good programs since education sector is giving us skills, our people should become more innovative and in that way, they will invest in the economy, and will become the drivers of the economy,” Musinguzi said.

Musinguzi additionally lauded Uganda for the great work done, in reducing fertility rate that’s from 7.4 to 5.4 children 20 years ago.

“Uganda has reduced fertility rate by 2 children in 20 years, this is important and a good achievement.”