Title: Poverty, sustainability and the demographic dividend

Authors: Greg Clydesdale

Addresses: Faculty of Commerce, Lincoln University, P.O. Box 84, Lincoln 7647, Canterbury, New Zealand

Abstract: Mid-range population projections for Africa predict a doubling of population by 2050, with serious consequences for the environment, poverty and civil conflict. Despite this, aid agencies are expressing confidence in demographic trends, placing faith in a 'demographic dividend'. This optimism is based on East Asian nations that enjoyed a demographic dividend during their development. The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the link between policy, population and the environment, with a particular focus on the demographic dividend. This is an analytical/conceptual paper in which existing literature is analysed. This includes a comparison with the current situation in Africa and that when the Asian nations experienced their rise. The paper finds the two are in very different situations. This paper argues that past policies have been enacted with the effect of increasing population and raising productivity with insufficient consideration of the consequences of population growth and the diversity within Africa.

Keywords: demographic dividend; Africa; population; environment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEM.2018.090479

International Journal of Business and Emerging Markets, 2018 Vol.10 No.1, pp.3 - 21

Received: 18 Sep 2016
Accepted: 21 Nov 2016

Published online: 19 Mar 2018 *

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