The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Population Report Urges More Services

By December 31, some 1.7 million babies will have been born in Uganda this year according to the latest the State of Uganda Population Report 2012.

The statistic came yesterday, as the Population Secretariat released the report, "Uganda at 50 years, population and service delivery: challenges, opportunities and prospects" in Kampala.

Launching the report, Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka said the population increase did not match the current resource situation, leaving the country in a dire situation. The report shows that Uganda's population is now dominated by younger people, with over 50 per cent now aged below 18 years.

With these statistics, Kiwanuka admitted that the government was struggling to increase allocation of resources to several critical sectors to address the needs of the youth.

"I want to sound a warning that Uganda could easily experience a demographic disaster if the country fails to address the growing challenges of a rapidly growing population, whose growth is not matched by an improvement in the quality and quality of affordable services in health, education, housing, water, sanitation, care and protection of vulnerable populations," Ms Kiwanuka said.

She said the government had to plan to transform this proportion into an economically productive and competitive labour force.

"Government must create more social services including health facilities, vocational institutions and other requirements that can transform the young population into an asset."

The report states that if this high population growth rate of 3.2% continues, Uganda's population, now estimated at 34 million will reach 54 million in 2025 and 130 million by 2050.

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