Demographic trends

  • SWAC: 
    Body: 
    The city as an accelerator of demographic transition: Urbanisation is a powerful force for lowering fertility. It promotes the education of girls and facilitates access to healthcare; it offers more employment opportunities for women; access to information and dissemination of ideas and attitudes happens faster than in rural areas; and housing is more expensive and is, therefore, less spacious. Read on
  • SWAC: 
    Body: 
    Demographic trends in numbers: Over the past three decades, the population of West Africa has more than doubled. Every year, ten million children are born and another ten million children are of age to attend school. Education, health, access to drinking water, food, jobs and the environment are all challenges made even more difficult by high population growth. In 2015, the population of West Africa exceeded 370 million people. Read on
  • Country: 
    SWAC: 
    Body: 
    The education of girls contributes to reducing fertility: The number of children per woman of childbearing age (five West African countries are among the top 10 in the world) is significantly correlated to the prevalence of early marriage, the fertility rate of girls and their level of education. Read on
  • SWAC: 
    Body: 
    Population policies: Since the 1960s, mortality has declined steadily due to advances in medicine, immunisation and improved access to basic services like drinking water. Population policies should have resulted in a decline in natality greater than mortality to accelerate the demographic transition. However, this was not the case. Such policies suffer from a lack of political support and from strong socio-cultural restrictions. Read on
  • Opinion: 
    Body: 
    In an article posted on the new OECD blog on development, "Development Matters", UN-Habitat Executive Director Joan Clos explains why the challenges of the 21st century require a new concept of urbanisation in Africa. If African cities do not facilitate intra-city movement and do not improve their connections with rural areas, their urbanisation will not support the economic opportunities urbanisation has created elsewhere. Read on
  • SWAC: 
    Body: 
    Africa is the least urbanised continent in the world but an urban transition is very much underway. This is particularly visible in West Africa where the number of urban agglomerations increased from 152 in 1950 to almost 2 000 in 2010. Today towns and cities are home to 41% of the region’s total population. Read on
  • SWAC: 
    Body: 
    As part of its programme “Le Grand Débat”, the Pan-African radio channel, Africa N°1, dedicated a special issue to the future of African cities. Senior Economist Philipp Heinrigs of the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) presented key findings from the most recent update of the Africapolis study, which provides a comprehensive and comparable dataset on urbanisation in West Africa. Read on
  • Country: 
    Body: 
    African leaders are gearing up to realize the demographic dividend in Africa. John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana, opened the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights in Accra on 8 February 2016. The five-day conference gathered some 1 000 high-level experts, including African women and youth associations and other civil society representatives. Read on
  • SWAC: 
    Body: 
    The University of Copenhagen hosted a conference on "Rural-urban connections in sub-Saharan Africa" from 25-28 January. Participants explored the impacts of mobility and urbanisation on poverty and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Thomas Allen from the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat at the OECD (SWAC/OECD) was invited to present on key changes in the West African agro-food value chains. Read on

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