Population Dynamics, Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Africa

Clive Mutunga, Population Action International
Eliya M. Zulu, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)

This paper analyzes the impact of population growth on climate change vulnerabilities, such as projected availability of water resources and agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Development efforts in several countries in SSA are uniquely undermined by concurrent impacts of high rates of population growth, high projected declines in agricultural production and low resilience to climate change. Such countries are termed population and climate hotspots, which present opportunities where addressing rapid population growth will have synergistic benefits for climate change and development challenges. Policy and program assessments in Kenya and Malawi reveal an understanding by policymakers of these linkages, but limited integration of the issues into policies and programs. Meeting women’s needs for family planning will reduce fertility rates and slow population growth which will (1) help build resilience to climate change, and (2) enhance development outcomes and poverty eradication efforts through improvements in health care, schooling, and economic opportunities.

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Presented in Poster Session 3