DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: AN OBDURATE CONUNDRUM

Oluyinka Olutola Olajire

Abstract


African economic development (particularly in the Sub-Saharan region) since the turn of the twentieth century till recent times has been described by scholars as poor and unpromising. The one-time burgeoning economic prosperity of the 1950s, 60’s and ‘70s of many African states has become moribund and in comatose, gradually nudging into a colossal growth and development crisis.  One prevailing argument and explanation among demographers, sociologists, and economists for such diminutive social and economic growth in Africa is situated within the wider thesis that underscores the inability of many African states to wriggle through ‘demographic transition’.  With its current demographic shift, a significant number of countries in Africa is yet to grapple with and manage the intricacies associated with their ever-soaring rates of mortality, fertility and obdurate unrestrained population growth.  Hence, their current underdevelopment status occasioned by lopsided demographic transition and slow economic growth rate, and which has nonetheless portrayed the region as the world poorest. Based on the foregoing, this article relying on secondary data sources traced, analysed and presented the trajectory of demographic transition of selected African states and the attendant implications of such on social and economic outcomes. By this, the paper, discusses historically the deep-seated African demographic shift, and canvasses how African states can achieve a sincere and purposeful ‘demographic bonus and dividend.’ 

Keywords


Demographic transition, Demographic shift, Demographic dividend, Demographic bonus, Underdevelopment, Sub-Saharan African, Conundrum

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