There’s a phenomenon that we should be paying attention to, but which may not be receiving as much of it as it deserves: how fast our population is growing, which is basically, how many children we’re having and how that affects our quality of life as individuals and as families and, ultimately, as a country.
In 1950, Ghanas population was 5.2 million, and was hovering around 6 million at independence; that’s a little over how many people are in Accra today on a typical working day.
When President Rawlings took over power in 1981, there were 11 million of us. Twenty years later when he was handing over, Ghana’s population had almost doubled. I don’t know what happened; maybe the early bedtimes occasioned by 6pm curfews had something to do with it, if you get my drift…..ahem!
Today the headcount is estimated at 25 million and is projected to increase to 36 million by 2030.
Well, these may seem like mere numbers. Harmless, innocent numbers. But they’re not numbers. They’re people. They’re Us. They’ll need clothing. They’ll have to go to school. They need decent housing. They’ll demand potable water and electricity. They’ll generate thrash and sewage. They’ll wear down the environment. They’ll need to see doctors. That’s the problem.
So what’s the solution? Adopt China’s one-child policy? Put everyone on some dope that neuters the rabbit in us? Or should we take a Mathew 6:31 approach and leave it to God and his cabinet to solve?
Dr. Leticia Appiah who heads the National Population Council, and Alex Banful, a social marketing consultant, join me for a conversation over drinks at the Equator Bar at La Palm Royal beach hotel in Accra at 7 tonight.
What’s your question?
If you’re a young person without children yet, how many would you like to have? Do you see this as a problem?