January 09, 2008
Africa Human Population To At Least Double By 2050

Here is a far bigger crisis than global warming. Say good bye to Africa's wildlife as Sub-Saharan Africa's population doubles or more to between 1.5 and 2 billion by 2050.

Sub-Saharan Africa has been experiencing phenomenal population growth since the beginning of the XXth Century, following several centuries of population stagnation attributable to the slave trade and colonization. The region’s population in fact increased from 100 million in 1900 to 770 million in 2005. The latest United Nations projections, published in March 2007, envisaged a figure of 1.5 to 2 billion inhabitants being reached between the present and 2050.

The report of a demographic study, coordinated by the Centre Population et Développement (CEPED), commissioned by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), was published recently. The work was performed by a joint team involving scientists from the IRD and specialist academics from Belgium, Cameroon, France and the Ivory Coast (2). They examined the recent and projected future population trends in Sub-Saharan Africa and the relationships between these tendencies and the development of the region. This review effectively demolished some generally accepted ideas, in particular the one that Sub-Saharan Africa is underpopulated.

Today, two out of three inhabitants of this large region of Africa are under 25 years of age (twice the number prevailing in Europe) and, with 32 inhabitants per km2, Sub-Saharan Africa is more densely populated on average than Latin America (28 inhabitants/km2). And although two-thirds of its population still live in rural areas, massive migration to the towns and cities is under way. Thus, whereas in 1960, just one city, Johannesburg, had a population of over one million, Africa now has about 40 of them. At the present rate of rural exodus, half Sub-Saharan Africa’s population would be urban dwellers by 2030.

So Sub-Saharan Africa's population density is going to rise to over double where Latin America is today. Good bye jungles and rain forests. Good bye savannahs. Add in growing Chinese demand for rare animal parts and I do not see how many of Africa's species of cats and primates survive. I guess they'll survive in zoos along with elephants.

5 or more babies per woman. Little use of contraception. Yet our dysfunctional elites are too busy with biomass energy ideas and global warming meetings to do anything about it.

A parallel factor at work is fecundity, equal to or higher than 5 children per woman. This is two to three times higher as in the rest of the world, an important factor being that four out of five African women live in countries where there is little access to contraception. Indeed less than 20% of women use modern contraceptive methods, as against 60% or more in Latin America and Asia.

11 countries have fertility above 6 babies per woman and 9 of them are in Africa. Some Panglossians argue that the problem of human population growth will be solved naturally by declining fertility. Well, maybe in Japan and South Korea. But the top two high fertility countries in the world have seen their fertility rise from 2000 to 2007. Mali rose from 6.89 to 7.38. Niger rose from 7.16 to 7.37. They aren't alone. 5th place Afghanistan rose from 5.87 to 6.64 and 7th place Burundi rose from 6.25 to 6.48. This is a huge tragedy for our environment.

Update: At the suggestion of commenter HellKaiserRyo: Bad Catholic Church! Bad! Bad! Bad! Your position on contraceptives is irresponsible. Change your position. Human population growth isn't going to stop without contraceptives. Continued human population growth is the road to ruin.

Update II: Peak Oil, followed by Peak Natural Gas and Peak Coal, might drive up world food prices so high that current African population trends won't be sustainable. But I suspect the hunger caused by a peak fossil fuels will be fairly short-lived (granted it will kill a lot of people). We'll have several tough years until energy substitutes come on line. Necessity is a mother. Well, we are going to go up against a pretty big dose of necessity as fossil fuels supplies decline. So after a period of hunger will once again come the capacity to subsidize African food production and food supplies. We really do need to lower fertility in Africa to stop continued population growth there.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 January 09 07:14 PM  Trends Demographic

Rob McMillin said at January 9, 2008 8:28 PM:

Let's see them feed all those babies. Really, now, is that going to happen?

Jake said at January 9, 2008 9:01 PM:

The solution to the population problem is to replace the socialist governments in Africa. These governments have brought famine, extreme poverty and tribal warfare to Africa.

If free market economies can be brought to those countries, their increasing prosperity will bring down the birthrate as it has in some many other countries.

aa2 said at January 9, 2008 10:22 PM:

Hey Randall check out the oildrum section on just how many people could die worldwide if ethanol keeps goign forward.


"Modelling Biofuel Production as an Infectious Growth on Food Production"
Stuart Staniford

Btw I agree with you if the African population does stay on course and doubles again it will be disastrous for whats left of Africa's wilderness. I wish I was wealthy I'd give to charities which actively work to give birth control measures to Africans. One plan I proposed was the wealthy nations paying any African woman who wanted it 5,000 USD to get her tubes tied. The program could extend to a lot of other nations too. There are hundreds of millions of women in the third world who don't want more children, but can't stop the process. Like women with 3 kids already, who are malnourished.

HellKaiserRyo said at January 10, 2008 12:46 AM:

2050 doesn't buy us enough time. Africa needs to develop in order to overcome this demographic crisis.

HellKaiserRyo said at January 10, 2008 5:05 AM:

Randall, I'd appreciate it if you edited your entry to put a paragraph railing on the Catholic Church.

HellKaiserRyo said at January 10, 2008 5:06 AM:

"The solution to the population problem is to replace the socialist governments in Africa. These governments have brought famine, extreme poverty and tribal warfare to Africa.

If free market economies can be brought to those countries, their increasing prosperity will bring down the birthrate as it has in some many other countries."

Probably not a good idea... Amy Chua wrote about how market dominant minorities breed hatred and resentment.

Brock said at January 10, 2008 8:05 AM:

What happened to the AIDS crisis deciminating their populations and causing a population crash?

All this study really drived home is that we can't predict nothing about the future.

Jake is right though about the need for non-socialist governments in Africa. Heck, they need non-tribalist governments in most of those countries. Anytihng which encourages them to place more importance on the quality of a family's children, rather than the quantity, will be a good thing. Once Africans are in a situation where fewer, high-quality children produce more benefit than as-many-as-possible, birth control usage will rise naturally (as long as its use is not sabotaged by social conservatives).

HellsKaiserRyo: Don't be a fool. Even if you were right, any downsides to market economics policies is more than paid for by its benefits. I am not familiar with Amy Chua (nor do I care to me), but I know that its corruption and government preferences that breeds hatred and resentment, not market economics. Free markets reduce friction most of the time, since non-related people are then free to deal with each other on a mutally beneficial basis without worrying about unwritten tribal social contracts. Money is the grease that smooths all social interraction.

Bob Badour said at January 10, 2008 8:20 AM:


Arguing from a position of self-acknowledged ignorance does not make for compelling persuasion. Instead of religious faith in all things free market, why not read what Amy Chua actually says about market dominant minorities?

Hawthorne Mathers said at January 10, 2008 8:25 AM:

The Chinese are actively colonizing Africa, and by 2050 they should be THE market dominant minority in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa has oil, gold, diamonds, uranium, and most other strategic minerals.

Africa can't be developed by Africans, but the Chinese have the resources to develop the place. When the Arabs exploited Africa centuries ago, the only African commodities they considered valuable were spices and slaves. The Chinese are more discriminating, but I wonder if they will resurrect the slave trade? Wouldn't be surprised.

kurt9 said at January 10, 2008 9:23 AM:

Yes, the Chinese are actively colonizing Africa just like they did in the 60's and the Europeans did before them. They will also wear out their welcome in Africa just as they did in the 60's and the Europeans did before them. Africa must be free of any of these colonizers and must work out its problems on its own. No one likes an outsider to impose a solution on them.

The problem with Africa is that it has too many kleptocrats in power (the "big man" problem). This is largely the result of European colonialism and, more specifically, the political boundaries left over by the Europeans. As we are seeing in Kenya, these boundaries have no relationship to the ethnic make up of the "countries" they make up. Ralph Peters has written extensively about this problem in recent years. The current political entities have to go away and new ones that are consistent with the ethnic groups emerge in their place. As we all know well, 90% of the human race is organized on the basis of tribe/clan/family. Only when the geopolitical boundaries reflect this fact will Africa and other parts of the world have a chance to develop.

Brock said at January 10, 2008 10:30 AM:

IRRELEVANT BIOGRAPHICAL DATA: Amy L. Chua, born 1962 in Champaign, Illinois, is the John M. Duff, Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She joined the Yale faculty in 2001 after teaching at Duke Law School. Chua has written "World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability" (2003), which explores the ethnic conflict caused in many societies by disproportionate economic and political influence of "market dominant minorities" and the resulting resentment in the less affluent majority.


There. Now I know who she is. Does that make me believe that market economies should be avoided because it may breed ethnic resentment among the cultures that can't adapt to it? No. HellKaiserRyo's comment was still idiotic.

My "ignorance" was as to Amy Chua's biographical data, not the worth of the argument. I felt more than adequately informed to judge it as dumb. The strongest argument HellKaiserRyo could have made was "African policy makers should make sure that all ethnic groups are equally enfranchised in economic reforms; otherwise resentment and social unrest may result." But that wasn't the argument he made. He went a step further than that, an into the realm of stupid ideas.

HellKaiserRyo said at January 10, 2008 10:39 AM:

I only wrote: "Probably not a good idea..."

I did not try to make any detailed argument. I do know that unfettered free market policies will lead to ethnic resentment. But I do not think a free market is a panacea to all ills, but I will acknowledge that a planned economy is worse than most market economies. I wanted to say that free markets are not conducive to prosperity in some regions of the world, and policy makers should be aware of that. Instead, I was lazy and only said a few words to question the notion that the free market was a panacea.

Mthson said at January 10, 2008 10:54 AM:

Perhaps much of the world's desert land is presently under-exploited:

Egypt Turns Desert Into Farmland, National Geographic, Jan 8, 2008.

...This village is one of the extreme examples of the country's plan to ''green'' its deserts and transform the barren areas that consume most of the landscape into productive farms and fields.

Randall Parker said at January 10, 2008 5:35 PM:


The problems in Africa are not caused by socialism. If they were then Sweden would be a hell hole and East Germany would have been far poorer at the time the Berlin Wall came down.

What would help Africa:

1) An end to micronutrient deficiency. This would help brain development and raise cognitive ability. We might see a 5 to 10 IQ point rise.

2) Free birth control.

3) Pay teenage girls to stay in school and avoid pregnancy.

4) Outsource some functions of government to cut down on corruption and improve property rights protection. See if some NGOs could be paid to do the job.


The problems in Africa are not caused by Catholicism. Though the Catholic Church's opposition to contraceptive devices does make it harder to do what is needed to stop and reverse population growth in Africa.


Regards biographic data on Chua: Her aunt (great aunt?) in the Philippines was murdered by ethnic Filipinos and the government did squat to figure out who did it. Why? The people in the government probably hate rich ethnic Chinese as much as the people who murdered her aunt did. That's what happens to market dominant minorities. This has happened on a much larger scale to ethnic Chinese in Indonesia 10 or 15 years ago. Lots of them were murdered and their houses and shops burned down. They had a few hundred billion dollars taken from them by government and ethnic Indonesians.

As for predicting the future: Actually, it is very easy to do on some topics. Want to know which countries will grow more rapidly? Easy to do. Just order them by average IQ and see the correlation between IQ and wealth (with more here and here and here and here). The low IQ countries will grow very slowly and the higher IQ countries will grow more rapidly. The correlation between wealth and IQ is probably rising now that China is industrializing. But the correlation is already very strong.


One can turn a lot of desert into farmland if one has capital and can afford the energy. But there's the rub. The cost of energy is rising. Cheap photovoltaics will some day change that eventually and power desal plants. But it'll still cost money. Not happening any time soon. Better to use birth control to reduce the number of mouths to feed.

Randall Parker said at January 10, 2008 6:12 PM:


I already did a post about Stuart Staniford's post. See my post Will Biofuels Demand Cause Mass Starvation? for my take on it.

Dragon Horse said at January 10, 2008 6:36 PM:


Might be a slight overreaction here.

China and Europe combined can fit in Africa with room to spare.

China has 1.1 billion and Europe close to 750 million. In fact I know that most of China's population lives on less than 25% of the last in the Eastern region. Most of China's land is not irritable...only about 15%...but they can feed most of their people and export food stuff on top of that. Africa is far less populated per square km than Europe or anywhere in East Asia and always has been.

Point at hand: 2 billion people in Africa can be manageable given the right infrastructure, it might even be a boon in the right situation. For most of Africa's history, despite all that space Africa was very much underpopulated, and most of the population was above the Sahara. I believe this did not change until the 18th century or so.

The real issue is population growth outgrowing economic growth erasing the progress much of Africa has been making lately (average growth was modest, at 6% in the Sub-Saharan region last year, according to the World Bank).

There is not so much a lack of resources as a highly inefficient allocation due to various things, corruption, socialist policies, blah blah blah...I talk about this all the time on my blog.

Its interesting how people are so worried about the "environment". Remember all the dense forest, wolves, and even lions in Europe that the Greeks described to their North? That's gone. China was similar in some regions.

Now Africa can't develop because it is inconvenient to Western people who want to Safari. There are areas in Kenya where you can walk for days and not meet anyone, not even a Bushman. That does not exist in the West or in East Asia, and Africans should not be allowed to develop their land? I seem to remember the U.S. government was giving away land to any white man who can make it here to create a homestead on virgin land that was only occupied by semi-nomadic natives. That was called progress was it not?

Randall Parker said at January 10, 2008 8:54 PM:

Dragon Horse,

Are you arguing that the wiping of of wild lands is a good thing? Do you think the US government should, say, give away the lands that make up Yosemite National Park? How about Yellowstone? How about giving away the entire Grand Canyon?

The right infrastructure: But the Africans can't build it. Africa is a basket case.

Economic growth in Africa: Extraction industries run by foreigners are bringing in lots of money due to world economic growth. That growth is coming from overwhelmingly from East Asia, Europe, and America.

Lack of resources: The price of oil has gone up by an order of magnitude in the last 10 years. Assorted minerals have gone up in multiples. In Africa lots of species are declining in numbers. Ditto in South East Asia, China, and other places. Those species do not find enough resources in the form of habitats.

Africa has now almost 800 million people because Westerners developed plant strains, drugs, and other tech that made it possible. It had 100 million in 1900. Africans did not develop the science and technology that made Africa's increase in population from 100 million to 770 million. Westerners did it. I'm telling Westerners to look at the problems we created. Look at how worse those problems are going to get.

Loss of habitat in Europe: Luckily Europe is a small place. If the whole world experienced the habitat destruction that Europe has undergone then huge numbers of species would get wiped out and the whole planetary ecosystem would be heavily damaged.

parky said at January 10, 2008 9:41 PM:

An overlooked factor - which is paramount - is short life expectancy. As a Vietnam vet I looked forward to revisiting my old haunts. I met young people - old people were hardly to be seen - who had virtually no meaningful awareness that had been a war there that spanned 20 years through the French & American campaigns.

My images included wrinkled old peasants sitting on their haunches having a smoke in the shade. Nobody was sitting around and virtually no "old" people - past 50 years.

Vietnam has far better circumstances than Africa, the problems of aids, other infectious diseases, wars, famine and more make for short life span and an uneducated populace.

If the Chinese or ?? decided to colonize the sub-saharan portion of the continent - it could turn yellow in a few decades.


Dragon Horse said at January 11, 2008 4:00 AM:


I'm not arguing that wiping out the wetlands or any of the other places you mentioned is a good thing, but America obviously did not allow any and all wilderness to stand in the way of development and even purposeful population growth. Africa should not either. It is not an issue of "do it" or "don't do it" it is an issue of degree.

Africa has 53 nations? How many of them are in conflict? But for the Congo insurgents who cross borders I'm not aware of any external wars currently going on that are state led. What is the number of internal conflicts that are of significance to the disruption of business that are ongoing. I can count 5. 5 nations out of 53. By this standard Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, and South America are all basket cases.

As far as China "colonizing Africa" that is not going to happen. First off, energy resources are so important Europe, Japan, and North America would not allow it. If you really want to read a detailed paper of what is going on in Africa as far as Chinese investment (and India which has about 50% and growing investment on the continent) here is a good resource:


I saw this guy speak in DC last Feb. at a workshop. There is no colonization. It is typical East Asian business. Invest, bring in mostly your own people and hire a handful of locals. Japan did the same thing in the 70's and 80's. India is mostly hiring Africans through the ethnic Indians already on the ground in East Africa.

"Africa has now almost 800 million people because Westerners developed plant strains, drugs, and other tech that made it possible."

Yep same thing that happened in China, India, and a host of other areas. The difference is that Africa (due to the fact we evolved there) has more infectious diseases that cull the population.

As far as the economy. Some landlocked nations with few resources and little access to the sea (Africa having more of them due to European line drawing than any continent) are trying to move into service sectors. Uganda is starting to get call centers for example (something I blogged about). Problem with these nations (Niger is another) is they have to rely on their neighbors to get goods out to the sea. Switzerland is wealthier than its neighbors because it depends (historically) on their markets, infrastructure, etc to create niche industries. Uganda depends on Sudan and Kenya. Niger on Nigeria. Despite their economic policies this is a problem, because their growth is not dependent on just what they do.

Another issue in Africa (due to all these resources) is the Dutch Disease. It drives up the cost of their currency and makes them uncompetitive to go into labor intensive manufacturing. So these resources are somewhat of a curse, the same way they are for a lot of Middle East nations with significant natural resources that produce industries that can't employ most people so they have high unemployment rates, full of folks living on welfare (i.e. Saudi).

Despite this there is growing investment in other markets in Africa besides natural resources.


You are right though that "strip mining" and other such activities are not good. If Africans don't control the entire value chain from ground to finish good they will never get real money (a similar problem of Iran).

There are a lot of issues in Africa that are very unique and many of the worlds top economists and experts on the issue (Broadman, Collier, Easterly, Sachs, Stiglitz) are not sure how to deal with and there is no consensus on as these situations exist nowhere else and where they do the people are in similar positions. Collier does a great job outlining this in "The Bottom Billion". In any case it is quite simplistic to say 'They can't do this " as if they are incapable or they are not trying...

I would invite you to read the works of the people above on the topic, they are detailed and numerous.

Joe Bish said at January 11, 2008 5:23 AM:

The conversation began with a suggestion of "bad government"

Click here for commentary on bad government theory in relation to "famine, extreme poverty and tribal warfare" in the developing world. The author argues over-population theory trumps bad government theory in explaining developing world problems.


TTT said at January 11, 2008 4:23 PM:

Why do you think nature created AIDS? To regulate population in the highest-growth, least advanced segments of humanity.

Bob Badour said at January 12, 2008 7:52 AM:

What makes you think something called nature does anything?

We know how viruses reproduce. They don't have to have a reason.

JMG3Y said at January 12, 2008 8:54 AM:

I'll second the above recommendation for The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It, 2007, by Paul Collier - (wiki bio). It has positive reviews by several well renown economists and is a good read. Collier identities the traps (a large supply of an exportable natural resource is one!) that keeps keeps economies at the bottom and makes a persuasive argument that a sequence of carefully applied steps is required to have any hope of escaping the traps. Collier is a former World Bank economist and currently director of CSAE, the Oxford Centre for the Study of African Economies, where some of his recent papers are on-line.

Randall Parker said at January 12, 2008 9:45 AM:

Dragon Horse,

You speak of purposeful population growth. What purpose can population growth serve in Africa? None that I can see.

Population contraction in Africa would raise living standards and save other species from extinction. Africa does not lack for people to achieve economies of scale. Africa lacks for people who can run an industrialized civilization. Africa is stuck in a Malthusian Trap.


The well known economists won't be able to recommend effective solutions to the causes of poverty until Darwinism returns to the social sciences. Darwinism used to inform mainstream social science thinking 75 to 100 years ago. But since then the social scientists have imposed upon themselves willful ignorance. They can't understand human nature because they can't reason about humans biologically.

I see a few small signs of hope of more realism by social scientists. Some few now speak of shortages of human capital (which is sufficiently vague as to whether lack of training or lack of ability is the bigger problem) as the biggest problem with Africa. Corruption and supposed socialism aren't the biggest problem. But we are still too far away from a realistic discussion of Africa's problems for most social science prescriptions to help much.

I also see signs of hope in the taking up of the call to end micronutrient deficiencies. This call was first made by people who are considered beyond the pale of respectable discourse such as psychometrician Richard Lynn. But the NGO types are starting to talk about it. Food fortification will gradually raise cognitive abilities, albeit not to First World levels. But it is a really constructive step in the right direction.

Bob Badour said at January 12, 2008 11:41 AM:

To amplify Randall's comment about micro-nutrients:

Even if micro-nutrient supplementation raises the group average intelligence in sub-Saharan Africa by a full standard deviation, the result will still only come up to the bottom rung of group averages. However, what hope is there to climb the ladder before they can even reach the bottom rung?

Ron said at July 11, 2008 2:28 PM:

I think you will really like this website. It is all about the future of the Human species.


Ryan H said at January 31, 2010 4:39 PM:

Rob McMillin said at January 9, 2008 8:28 PM: SAID:

"Let's see them feed all those babies. Really, now, is that going to happen?"

Rob, guess who is feeding them?
Tax payers money is going towards feeding these damn roaches!

Koala Dicks said at October 12, 2010 11:54 PM:

Africa must federate into a single nation to overcome its problems. The states must be divide on tribal boundaries. A united africa will end the problems of wars that we have now. This must be a democracy. The rest of the world must hevily invest in making this a reality, it is in our own best intrest. By pulling a united africa into the first world, we will avoid the problems that will cost us the rest of the world far more into the futere, especially global overpopulation. It is a well known fact that as countries move into the first world and urbanise, that fertility rates drop, stabilising the population. The only reason that population is growing in nations such as the USA, Australia, EU and canada is because of immigration from places like africa. Africa must be linked by vast networks of highways railways, pipes and cables.

Cypres said at July 13, 2011 1:58 PM:

In 2050:
Sub Sahran Africa will have 1.5 billion population on an area of 24 million square km.
India will have a population of 1.6 billion on an area of 3.2 million square km.
China will have a population of 1.3 billion on an area of 9.6 milion square km.
Yet all these european and american azsholes see overpopulation in Africa than anywhere else. Europe and North America used to have a rich wildlife as Africa has today. Where did the buffaloes go?
Even with 1.5 billion population Sub Saharn Africa will be less overpopulated than Europe, China and India. The density per square Km will be simillar to United State population density.
Why can't westerners deal with their own overpopulation and destruction of wildlife and worry less about Africans populating their territories. Did you worry about chinese populating china, indians in india and whites in Europe or grabbing lands in America and Australia after murdering native peoples?

Markus said at July 17, 2011 11:39 PM:

Your text was fury, full of fact but somehow hysteric. We all must understand that vertility rate of current Africa doesn't mean it'll be as high in 2050's. There's certain fact that people moving from villages to towns and cities tend to get less children. We have seen that before in Europe, America and Asia. I don't see any crucial difference between Africa and the rest of the planet. More likely the vertility rate in Africa will decrease very heavily during the next 4 decades. However it's true that even then we have sub Saharan Africa with population of more than 1½ billion by then. But after that the 2 billion population could be the maximum. Besides tens of millions of africans might have fled the continent to Europe, N-Ameriva and - what's not much talked about in west - to the rising superpower China.

Cypres said at August 8, 2011 12:52 PM:

The only hysteric thing in my text is names calling which wasn't necessary. But if you have read other comments you can also see names calling and how other people think of Africans as if whites are the only humans worth to grow and live on this planet.
The statistics I gave are from UN and world bank population projections and are facts.
Africa growth reduction is taken into account. If the population has to grow at today's rate Sub Saharan Africa could have 2 billions people in 2050. With the growth rate slowing down progressively the population is estimated to grow up to between 1.5 and 1.7 billion in 2050 and stabilize to 2 billion in 2100.
What I do not understand is why many whites don't have a problem with more than 1 billion whites in Europe, the Americas and Australia, almost 2 billion Indians in 2050, 1.5 billion Chinese in 2050 and have a problem with 1.5 billion Africans in 2050.
If Europeans, Chinese and Indians have reduced the wild life for farming, cities, roads and other infrastructure why can't Africans do the same? Which people has never known poverty, crisis or is made of immortals and death doesn't exist in their society?
Let's say as you mentioned that tens millions Africans will live the continent for Europe, the America and Asia. That will never happen because nations in those continents can't let 100 millions Africans invade their countries and even if they do Africa will still have more than 1.4 billion south of Sahara and 0.5 billion in north Africa. 5 millions new African immigrants in Europe and 1 million in North America have already caused whites to bend out of shape and you are talking of 100 millions?
Stop worrying about people who will never put guns on your neck to feed them. Lock your money in a bank and tell your government not to use a single penny of your taxes to feed any African and see if we will go extinct.

Frustrated Commenter said at February 25, 2012 4:08 PM:

"with 32 inhabitants per km2, Sub-Saharan Africa is more densely populated on average than Latin America (28 inhabitants/km2). "

"So Sub-Saharan Africa's population density is going to rise to over double where Latin America is today"

You act as if 64 inhabitants per sq. km is unsustainable. That's still only around 50%-60% the size of Europe's average density. We must also take into consideration Africa only has a handful of large nations (by population size): Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, and DR Congo. Then there are a few more with relatively-medium sized populations (30 - 50 million): South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda. So these are just a mere 9 out of the 55 nations in Africa. The rest are in-between the 5 to 25 million in population size. Taking that into account, I think some comments, and even this article, are being melodramatic. Yes Rob McMillan, the American taxpayer feeds Africa's 1 billion people *rolls eyes*. Go educate yourself before making such idiotic conclusions. In addition to that, instead of grouping all of Africa into one large case, examine each individual nation by how their land area, % of arable land, access to water, and so on will impact their growing populations.

And speaking of feeding Africa's population, 2 billion people could be PERFECTLY FED. The problem is African farmers practicing old-age farming techniques, relying on rainfall rather than irrigation (albeit this is where African governments need to come in to aid), and dilapidated infrastructure keeping regions with food surpluses from transporting to drought-stricken areas (perfect example: Kenya last year).

On African development, resources will not drive growth forever, and in some nations it isn't even the main catalyst of growth (see Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda for example). Sure perhaps western investors still stick to resources, but increasingly Chinese for example have been diversifying their African investments into services and industry. African nations could see industry grow substantially given 1) per capita income and labor cost are still very low, 2) an ever increasing work force to provide for, and 3) an increasing investment in infrastructure. Being resource-rich is just a nice added bonus which will be greatly beneficial to manufacturing. Now of course there are many hurdles to achieving this, but over time Africa will surely have its turn in manufacturing.

Now to this articles writer: ever thought of the idea that African nations will be much more developed by 2050, heck even by 2030, compared to today? Surely they'd adopt modern agricultural practices and be able to feed themselves by then. But of course Africa will always remain underdeveloped and starving with women continuing to have 5-6 children even 38 years from now *sarcasm*.

Sidenote: I wholeheartedly agree with Cypres. India with 1.2 billion and China with 1.3 billion would still be more populous than all of Africa (a sprawling continent of over 30 million sq.km. So all this talk about 'overpopulation' are ludicrous at best.

african said at April 26, 2012 6:35 AM:

stupid westerners concerned about african maybe they should wory about china taking over thier hot spot of super power

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