11 January 2019

Ghana's Population Growth 'Alarming' - Don

A population expert has said the increasing population of the country calls for strategic planning by the government to mitigate its adverse socio-economic repercussion on the country.

Professor Stephen Owusu Kwankye, an associate professor at the Regional Institute for Population Studies,University of Ghana, listed family planning and education as some of the ways to address the "alarming" situation.

He was speaking to the Ghanaian Times, following the paper's report that the country's population, according to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), was now estimated at 30.2 million.

In the view of the professor, the population figure has to be examined demographically, so that the challenges with each category could be well defined and addressed.

He pointed out that family planning and prevention of teenage pregnancy were key in controlling the population of the country and required the attention of all stakeholders.

He said while the family planning would reduce the number of births or help families properly space births, the teenage pregnancy prevention would avoid the situation where the education of young women were curtailed.

Aside medical care, water and sanitation and other basic needs that cut across, Prof. Kwankye, averred that children and youth, for instance, would need education since quality human resource was an asset to every country.

Without job opportunities for the youth, he said they would be delinquent or be compelled to migrate, most of the time illegally, to other countries with unpredictable consequences.

On sanitation, he said increased population meant more filth would be generated and stated that measures already in place to control poor sanitation, needed to be stepped up.

For Prof. Kwankye, the country could make faster progress in handling the population if the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) identified respective challenges and properly targeted them.

Until the population issues were holistically and proactively addressed, he said efforts to expand the economy and make it stronger would suffer some setbacks as the country would spend more on population related challenges.

The new population of 30,280,811 million is about 5.6 million more since the 2010 Population and Housing Census pegged the country's population at 24 million.

The acting government statistician, Mr David Yenukwa Kombat who disclosed this said the figure was per annual growth rate of 2.5 per cent adding that, per the data from 1960 to 2010, the population doubled every 25 years.

In 1960, the country's population was 6.7million; it increased to 8.5million in 1970, soared to 12.2 in 1984 and inched to 18.9 million and 24.6million in 2000 and 2010 respectively. The next census would be held in March 2020.

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