Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has said that a large population in his country will help boost it’s economy.
He has officially asked Tanzanian women to “set your ovaries free” and produce more children.
Magufuli believes such a move will boost the country’s economy, turning it into a regional powerhouse.
He said on Tuesday that “When you have a big population you build the economy. That’s why China’s economy is so huge.”
Magufuli believes India and Nigeria have a huge market for economic growth because of their huge population.
Last year the Tanzanian President spoke against family planning saying it has led to decline in population elsewhere.
He urged couples to keep reproducing and was quoted as saying that only “lazy people” opt for birth control.
Mr. Magufuli told a rally in rural Mearu district in eastern Tanzania that family planning has caused workforce crisis in Europe.
Local media The Citizen quoted him as saying that “Those going for family planning are lazy. They are afraid they will not be able to feed their children.”
“They do not want to work hard to feed a large family. And that is why they opt for birth control and end up with one or two children” he adds.
Impact of population growth
Tanzania has chalked some sustained economic growth, averaging six to seven percent a year, over the past decade.
The East African nation of 55 million people has one of the world’s highest birth rates which is around five children per woman.
Tanzania’s population grows by about 2.7 percent annually. The impact is that most public hospitals and schools are overcrowded.
Many young people are also without jobs, similar to the situation in other African countries.
In some countries like Nigeria and Ghana, population experts are rather advising families to adopt birth control measures.