Professor Augustin Tanle of the Department of Population and Health of University of Cape Coast says Ghana’s population growth rate is comparatively better than other countries in the West African sub-region.
He argues, Ghana’s 2.5 population growth rate stands healthier than other countries which are recording 6.0 and above. He attributes Ghana’s comparatively low population growth to conscious efforts to address issues of population through intense family planning campaigns.
According to Professor Tanle, an increase in population is not a liability in itself but an asset for development. He says it is necessary to ensure the population growth gives direction to policy.
Contributing to a discussion on the rise in Ghana’s population which currently stands at 29.6 million, Prof. Tanle said, “Ghana compared to some countries in West Africa in particular, is not doing bad. For instance, if you look at the total fertility rate, that is the number of children per woman, Ghana as at now is 4.2 and there is even estimate in 2017 showing that it has reduced to 4.0. Population number per say is not a liability in itself but either an asset or bottleneck for development depending on how you handle it”.
Professor Tanle also expressed worry over a seeming gap in the country’s development planning and programmes. He said though measures are being put in place to control Ghana’s population, population characteristics are not being integrated into development planning.
“We expect that, population characteristics should give direction to policy. We are aware of the population characteristics in terms of the total number of people and total fertility rate. However, over the years, we as a country have not consciously integrated these characteristics into our development planning and programmes.”