Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, says enormous population explosion neutralizes whatever economic progress the country makes.
Gondwe said there was “tremendous development” that had been recorded since independence which he said is being overdhadowed by growing population.
“As a country we have made tremendous gains over the years but why the impact is not reflected on our economy, is because the gains have been dissipated by population growth,” said Gondwe on Tuesday at the opening of the National Population and Development Conference held at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
Gondwe also launched Demographic Dividend Report.
“The high population is exerting a lot of pressure to our economy,” said Gondwe, urging itizens to slow donw in making babies.
US Charge d’affaires, Andrew Herrup and UN Resident Coordinator, Mia Seppo, also expressed concerns over the growing population in the country and the two called on stakeholders to join hands.
“Curbing Malawi population growth requires multi-sectoral approach,” advised Herrup, and warned: “If we do not take the issue of population growth seriously, most of the MDGs we have achieved as a country will be lost.”
He said US government would continue to support Malawi through various programs such as ASPIRE – the project aimed at empowering girls through education and health; and the DREAMS project aimed at preventing the spread of HIV to girls and young women; and ACT program to ensure that HIV+ children – boys and girls – get the life-saving treatment they need.
UN Resident Coordinator, Seppo, observed that at no time had there been so many young people in the world in general and in Malawi in particular, hence the need for the country to enhance contraceptives among the youth, so as to ensure that “every pregnancy is wanted”.
The National Population Development Conference is scheduled to run from 6 – 8 September, 2016 and it has drawn participants from various sectors among them reproductive health, education, civil society organizations, development partners and the clergy.
The theme for the conference is ‘Empowering, Educating, and Employing Youth to Harness the Demographic Dividend and Achieve Sustainable Development in Malawi.’Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :