Tanzania: Mpango - Population Growth Isn't a Threat

FINANCE and Planning Minister Dr Phillip Mpango has urged the general public not to worry about the prospect of a population bomb as the government had intensified actions to control the scenario and that the existing resources are sufficient.

Tanzania's population is growing at an average rate of 2.7 per cent a year and the ministry believe its worthy for the state-backed industrial development.

In his written response to Special Seats MP Suzan Lyimo (Chadema) Dr Mpango said the country's land size is 947,303km-square an equivalent to 65 people on every kilometre square of land as of 2020.

"This means the large population today is not a problem with regards to existing resources," the minister responded.

Earlier, the legislator had expressed concern that there had been a population explosion that adds to pressure on resources.

Dr Mpango explained that population growth had been an advantageous factor to developing countries whose technological innovations were in their infancy.

He said the opposite was the case with industrial-developed countries.

The minister recalled one of founding father Julius Nyerere's sentiments, that for a country to develop, it needed clean politics, good leadership and people.

He said strategically the government had been working to reform its economy and the people's development.

Dr Mpango said part of the strategic mission commissioned by the government during the five-year development plan 2016/17-2020/21 includes improving healthcare services, provision of free basic education to children, provision of agro-inputs to farmers and loans to high education students.

Dr Mpango explained that the government had also strengthened the transportation systems involving the construction of a standard gauge railway and improving power generation capacity by investing in a mega 2115 megawatts Julius Nyerere Hydropower project along Rufiji River.

"We believe these projects will spark the establishment of small, medium and large factories that will generate jobs that meet the demand of the growing population," he said.

The five-year development strategy, according to the minister, has adopted other programmes that target to improve the country's economy to meet the pace of a population explosion.

"A large population is a problem to many... but not to us, since as a State, we have enough land and we see this as an opportunity," he emphasized.

He said that the country was surrounded by water bodies and had countless natural resources, and so population growth had not reached the point where it could be perceived as a crisis.

Preparations for population census scheduled for 2022 have started.

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