Ghana’s National Population Council has sparked a debate over birth control in the West African nation with its officials suggesting that couples limit the number of children they bear to three.
The country’s 2.5% annual population growth has been considered as alarming with officials now contemplating new strategies to control the growth rate.
Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr. Leticia Appiah is hopeful limiting the number of children couples give birth to will improve the quality of life of Ghanaians and reduce the pressure on social amenities, according to Citi FMin Ghana.
An associate Professor with the Regional Institute of Population Studies (RIPS) of the University of Ghana, Prof. Stephen Owusu Kwakye is quoted by Citi FM to have said that the proposal for birth control was needless.
“Our population growth has always been how we find it. It has always hovered around 2.5%. In fact it used to be 2.7% per annum. Earlier it was even estimated to be 3% in the 70’s and we at 2.5% so I don’t see why that alone should alarm anybody,” he said.
Ghana’s current population is over 25 million and like many African countries, having children is considered important and capable of boosting ones social status.
Professor Kwakye told Citi FM that there was not need lamenting about the increase in population but rather the country must utilize its benefits.
“Looking at the population structure it is showing that we have some positive developments which we should take advantage of instead of lament that 2.5% is alarming. Especially if you’re not in the position to say that all of it is coming from fertility. I am not too sure whether to describe our population growth as alarming.”
Most of Ghana’s regions are impoverished and people still struggle to live quality life although poverty levels have significantly dropped over the past decade.
In Nigeria there are efforts to cut the birth rate in half by 2030, in a region that has the highest fertility rates in the world.