Overpopulation fuelling terrorism in Africa, Obasanjo submits
• Experts canvass turning challenge to asset
Overpopulation is contributing significantly to terrorism in Africa, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has submitted.He therefore urged governments on the continent to efficiently manage their populations and resources.
Obasanjo spoke yesterday at an event organised by the two arms of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) – Centre for Human Security and the Dialogue and Africa Progress Group (APG) – in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The Owe chief noted at the programmed, titled Making African population an asset rather than liability, that except control measures were put in place, the quality of lives of the people would not improve.He recalled that as a president, he invited militant leaders in Niger Delta for a chat, and during the discussion, one of them told him that he embraced militancy owing to unemployment.
According to him, the young man in question made a second class (upper division) in petroleum engineering and had been in the labour market for four good years without securing a job .
Among the speakers were Professor Oka Obono; Ifeyinwa Achike; Prof. Peter Ogunjuyigbe; Olaide Adedokun and Muhib Opeloye. They agreed that the increasing population on the continent was a serious threat to quality of life, but added quickly that if managed well, it would be a great asset.
The experts listed adverse effects of the rapid population growth to include overstretching of social services and amenities such as roads, electricity and health.A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting recommended: “Enthronement and promotion of competent, efficient and effective governance should be top priority for African countries as this is the lever for development and turning the continent’s population into an asset.
“Based on the power of education in the successful management of populations, educational systems in African countries should be overhauled, paying special attention to access to education (Education for all), education of women and girls, entrepreneurship and ensuring relevance of education delivered to the needs of the society.” It added: “We need better harmonisation of Islamic and western education as successfully practised in a number of Islamic countries, including Tunisia, Egypt and Indonesia.“Invest in culture-compliant family planning procedures, showcasing, publicising and rewarding successful practices.”