Prioritize investment in the potential of Uganda’s young population to harness demographic dividend: Experts

Prioritize investment in the potential of Uganda’s young population to harness demographic dividend: Experts
(L-R) Chairman National Populaion Council (NPC), Prof. Fred Wabwire Mangen, The Director General NPC Dr. Jotham Musinguzi and UNFPA Representavice Ms Florence Togoolaa

The Demographic Dividend is the accelerated economic growth that may result from a decline in a country's birth and death rates and the subsequent change in the age structure of the population.

A Demographic Dividend is an opportunity for economic growth and development that arises as a result of changes in the population age structure.

With Uganda’s population dominated by a youthful age structure, experts from various sectors in Uganda and beyond have highlighted the need needs to make strategic investments in the health, education, and skilling of this young population in order for the country to reap the benefits of a Demographic Dividend.

Stakeholders including Members of Parliament, young people, academia, government officials and members of civil society among others have convened in the demographic dividend seminar organized by the National Population Council and her partners at Golden Tulip Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday 27th September 2022.

While officially opening the seminar Prof. Fred Wabwire Mangen, Chairperson, National Population Council (NPC) Uganda, pictured above, highlighted that Uganda’s youthful population calls for strategic investments in health, education and skilling in order to benefit from the demographic Dividend.

He said there is a need to enhance and support the government’s efforts made towards changing the mindset of our people, including young people towards work and development while making a clarion call to all Ugandans to join the campaign against child marriages and teenage pregnancies.

“The extent to which our country hopes to harness the Demographic Dividend hinges on the deliberate and focused investments we make in this young population. We must therefore commit to increasing opportunities for young Ugandans by turning them into a dynamic, productive, and globally competitive workforce that is to serve our country for many years to come” he said

The Chairman particularly added that Uganda can deliberately trigger a rapid transition of its population age structure from a broad-based to a narrow-based population age pyramid by prioritizing key strategic interventions that will continuously accelerate rapid decline in fertility and mortality including: Accelerating rapid decline in both fertility and mortality leading to a change in the population age structure that is favorable for economic development, Enhancing human capital development to create a healthy, well-educated, skilled, productive, entrepreneurial and innovative labor force, Expanding equitable opportunities for growth and gainful employment, Promoting good governance for service delivery and accountability for sustainable development among others.

The Director General, National Population Council, Dr. Jotham Musinguzi while giving his opening remarks said that the objectives of this seminar are to enable Ugandan policy Makers to make use of demographic knowledge and data amidst briefing them on global trend, and highlight the impact of demography on various aspects of society including economy, finance and politics

He said that the partnership between National Population Council, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and MUK is a step in the right direction to harnessing the Demographic Dividend.

Dr. Martin Dahinden a Member of the World Demographic & Ageing Forum (WDA) Board in above picture, while delivering his presentation on "Approaches to policy formulation: The concept of Mitigation and Adaptation" said "The Concept of Mitigation and Adaptation puts the demographic drivers and effects powerfully at the center of analysis and recommendations”.

While the Chairman WDA Dr. Hans Groth said that "The goal is to attain GDP/capita of USD 9,500 by 2040. This requires an average economic growth of 13% every year from now on! Only possible by fully unlocking the Demographic Dividend”.

While representing the @UNFPAUganda Country Cirector, Florence Mpabulungi Tagoola acknowledged that Uganda has got a vast  young population with most of them being consumers which strains the working population greatly.

Ms. Florence Tagoola noted that @UNFPAUganda is still committed to; Ending Preventable maternal deaths, Ending unmet need for family planning, Ending Gender-based violence and all harmful practices including child marriage.

Population facts about Uganda Today:

Uganda’s population has grown steadily from 4.9 million people in 1948, to 45 million currently. With a population growth rate of 3.0% per annum, Uganda adds more than one and a half million babies to the country’s population annually. As a result, Uganda is one of the countries with the youngest population in the world. Uganda is 31st largest country, Uganda ist the 3rd fastest growing country, Uganda is the 8th youngest country (Average age <16, In 2040 Uganda will be 22nd largest country Larger than UK South Africa & France.