9th African Population Conference Calls for Strategic Investment in Youth and Combating Corruption

The 9th African Population Conference has emphasized the importance of investing in Africa’s youth, combating corruption, and making strategic investments to harness the continent’s growing population for socioeconomic transformation.

Speaking on the final day of the conference at Bingu wa Mutharika International Convention Centre in Lilongwe, Madalitso Kazombo, the First Deputy Speaker of the Malawi Parliament, stressed the potential of Africa’s youthful population.

He emphasized that resource allocation towards youth programs is crucial for Africa’s progress in sectors such as health, agriculture, and education

“First and foremost, the increase in population tells us policymakers that this is an asset. It’s high time we allocated resources towards youthful programs because if the youth are well-utilized, we’ll have a better Africa, be it in health, agriculture, or education. If the youth are well-utilized, we’ll have a better Africa,” Kazombo stated.

First Deputy Speaker of Malawi Parliament Madalitso Kazombo (second from left)

Kazombo also highlighted the need for Africa to prioritize local resource mobilization and stop exporting raw materials.

“”Africa is blessed with vast resources. If we can produce more crops and add value, then we are getting the resources. We should stop exporting raw materials and start processing them within Africa to create jobs and retain value. This is crucial for countries like the DRC, which despite its wealth in minerals, struggles with basic amenities,” he added.

On corruption, Kazombo addressed the issue of corruption, describing it as a major obstacle to Africa’s development.

He stated, “The more we are corrupt, the more we are killing our people,” he remarked, urging leaders to take a stand against corruption. “We should stop corruption. This is what is killing Africa.”

In his words, Dr. Eliya Zulu, Executive Director of the African Institute of Development Policy (AFIDEP), underscored the importance of strategic investments in human capital.

He noted that Africa’s population is projected to reach 1.5 billion by 2050, representing one-quarter of the global population.

“Is Africa ready to make the investments that are needed to turn this population into quality human capital?” Zulu questioned.

Zulu also called for a collaborative effort between Africa and the international community to support the continent’s development.

“The global community also has a responsibility. They cannot wish away the African population,” he said, highlighting the need for global investments to complement local efforts.

The newly elected President of the Union for African Population Studies (UAPS), who is also the Director of Development Policy and Head of Malawi Office of AFIDEP Professor Nyovani Madise, echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the conference’s focus on leveraging Africa’s human capital despite global challenges such as conflicts and pandemics.

Prof. Madise: The conference has helped in Leveraging Africa’s human capital

“We wanted to find solutions for how we can leverage Africa’s human capital for transformation,” Madise stated.

The conference covered themes including migration, urbanization, health, and fertility, and concluded with resolutions aimed at African-led research and evidence-based decision-making.

The conference, organised every four years by the UAPS The theme of the conference is “Road to 2030: Leveraging Africa’s Human Capital to Achieve Transformation in a World of Uncertainty.”

The African Population Conference (APC) which is organized every four years by the Union for African Population Studies (UAPS) is the largest scientific gathering on population issues in Africa.

This year, the conference was held under the theme: Road to 2030: Leveraging Africa’s human capital to achieve transformation in a world of uncertainty and was held from 20th May 2024 to 24th May 2024.

Sosten Mpinganjira

Sosten Mpinganjira is a news reporter with a track record of delivering timely and accurate news stories. With vast experience working with renowned news electronic, press, and online outlets, he has honed his reporting skills and has a deep understanding of the media landscape. He has a knack for delivering breaking news with accuracy and insight. He is dedicated to keeping his readers informed about current events and trends that shape our world.

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