8 September 2016

Ethiopia: Balancing Population Growth With Economic Development Vital - Bureau

Photo: AllAfrica
Construction and light rail transport in Addis Ababa are signs of the fast growth of Ethiopia's economy.

The Addis Ababa City Finance and Economic Development Bureau highlighted that the imbalance between population growth rate and that of economic development is a prime factor which put people in developing countries under poverty line.

The Bureau organized a symposium with the theme 'Investing in teenage girls' on the 23rd anniversary of the official launching of Ethiopian Population Policy at an event organized to mark World Population Day here yesterday.

Bureau Policy Study and Population Affairs Core Process Leader Yirgalem Eshetu said that developing countries are facing various social, economic and political challenges in their efforts to improve the lives of citizens. The City has set a programme harmonized with the first and the second growth and transformation plans. Hence, commendable achievements have been made benefiting city residents, he said.

Yirgalem also said it is significant to match the rapid population growth with the city's development implementing the population policy.

Bureau Population Affairs Core Process Leader Zeru Yibrah on his part enumerated critical challenges that ought to receive priority in addressing population issues. Accordingly, high population growth, dependency ratio and fertility rate as well as uneven population distribution and extremely degraded environments are top in the list.

According to Zeru, city population currently estimated to be over 3.3 million may reach four-million by 2023/24. The city's GDP per capita which is estimated to be over 31,000 Birr now is also expected to reach nearly 74, 0000 Birr.

He also recommended that there has to be a proper understanding on the linkages between population and development through conducting research. It is also essential to enhance leadership skills which help to guide and carry out the implementation of population and development activities.

Population Health and Environment (PHE) Ethiopia Consortium Programme Officer Ahmed Mohammed on his part said the population growth should go with the current economic growth of the country. One per cent population growth would ingest two per cent of the economic growth, he noted.

He urged all governmental bodies and businesses and civil society to support and invest in sustainable development goals. He also stressed the need for working hand-in-glove to ensure equitable wealth distribution.

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