NPC launches advocacy documentary
The National Population Council (NPC) in partnership with the Population Reference Bureau with support from USAID have launched an advocacy video documentary on Ghana’s demographic dividend to speed up development.
The launch of the documentary which is on the theme “Turning the wheels towards economic prosperity through investment in family planning” took place yesterday February 18, 2021 in Accra.
Dr. Leticia Appiah, the Executive Director of NPC, during the launch of the video stressed that reaping the demographic dividend is not automatic but requires conscious investment in family planning, education, health, economic reforms and good governance.
Explaining the demographic dividend as accelerated economic growth that a country can experience as a result of the changes in population age structure, Dr Appiah said, the Council believes that through sustained high-level advocacy and sensitization, the importance of reaping the demographic dividend will become a national priority among policy makers, political and national leaders to bring about the increased commitment to investment in quality human capital including family planning, nutrition, health and education, economic growth and good governance that will help Ghana attain the demographic dividend.
The Executive Director was of the view that though Ghana has experienced an appreciable decline in fertility since the 1980s with fertility rate declining from 6.4 in 1988 to 4.2 in 2014 and corresponding dependency ratio, there is still room for further decline by focusing on reducing avoidable high-risk pregnancies. She added that mortality and morbidity risk to mother and infant are higher if mother is below 18years, birth intervals less than two years, birth order four or higher and women older than 35/40 at first birth.
According to the maternal health survey 2017, 49% of births were in at least one avoidable high-risk pregnancy and as much as 17% of birth were in multiply avoidable high-risk categories.
“This shows that even though fertility is steadily declining, focus should be on disaggregated data for programme implementation” she stressed.”
She noted that the advocacy video complements the efforts already undertaken towards harnessing the demographic dividend and is also a call for sustained action on the part of all relevant stakeholders towards meaningful impact at scale.
“The demographic window of opportunity is opening for Ghana and we need to become braver, stronger and bolder champions of population and development now more than ever.” She urged.”
“We need to seize the opportunity by investing in the key sectors of family planning, nutrition, health, education and skills development, the economy and good governance,” said Dr. Appiah. adding that “The window of opportunity closes when the opportunity is not utilized.”
According to the Executive Director of Irbard Security Consult, Irbard Ibrahim, Ghana’s burgeoning population provides b ad news for labour but an even worse one for national security fi the right policies are not put in place to mange population growth and cushion the youth demographic bulge.
“What is even the essence of labour if it not skilled? These growing questions give security sector actors like us a cause for concern,” he asked.”
Ibrahim recommended a consistent and regular engagement between national security and the NPC so that both outfits can exchange notes and experiences not only on the phenomenon of child ‘streetism’ but also the wider population issues of port parenting, early and forced marriage, unp0lanned childbirth, poor education and a dangerously unaddressed youth bulge.
February 19, 2021, By: Kofi Ahovi