Population Dynamics and Demographic Dividend

Stakeholders, including government officials and the Department for International Development is a United Kingdom (DFID) representatives, at the Nairobi launch of the East African Regional Analysis of Youth Demographics study report in June 2018. The report was thereafter launched in 3 other East African countries: Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Photo: Evans Chumo/AFIDEP
© Evandro Sudré/Flickr
© Evandro Sudré/Flickr
© Rory Mizen/Flickr

Population issues are central to most of Africa’s challenges and therefore, population dynamics is a major cross-cutting factor in achieving majority of the SDGs.

Similarly, in the Demographic Dividend framework, achieving a population age-structure which has more economically productive people relative to dependents is a necessary pre-condition for harnessing the demographic dividend.

Our work on population dynamics focuses on the drivers of rapid population growth, especially high fertility, the status of women, unmet need for contraception, youth demographics, early childbearing and migration.

Our work has stimulated unprecedented interest to address population and development issues across Africa:

  • AFIDEP supported the office of the President of Malawi and the African Union (AU) to designate demographic dividend as the AU 2017 development theme.
  • We have supported 13 African countries to develop awareness and policy options for harnessing the demographic dividend. Most of these countries are integrating it in their national development plans.
  • Nine countries have integrated demographic dividend evidence and recommendations in their population policies and national development plans.
  • AFIDEP work has contributed to positioning population dynamics and the demographic dividend as a key development priority for Africa for various development partners including: DFID, GIZ, NORAD, UN agencies, USAID and World Bank.

Under the strengthening evidence for action and accountability on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) for young people in Eastern and Southern Africa project, AFIDEP contributed to:

  • Formulation of 2015 Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) policy in Kenya, which prioritised comprehensive sexuality education and contraceptive services for all adolescents
  • Formulation of the 2015 Youth Friendly Health Services (YFS) standards in Malawi
  • Adoption of a new Marriage Act in Malawi that raised the legal age of marriage from 15 years (with parental consent) to 18 years
  • Improvement of availability of relevant data for decision-making through the development and integration of ASRH indicators in the District Health Information Systems (DHIS) in Kenya and Malawi

Current Projects

January 2014 to Present

The Demographic Dividend project sought to support evidence generation and policy engagement to enhance government commitment to addressing population challenges and foster inclusive socioeconomic development using the demographic dividend paradigm.

December 2019 to Present

With support from UNFPA Malawi, AFIDEP will produce a series of position papers on the implication of Malawi’s population dynamics on critical areas of development: poverty, transformational education and skills development, private sector development and job creation, environment and governance.

February 2020 to Present

This project seeks to highlight the disparities in urban contraceptive, identify existing policy gaps and demonstrate the importance of family planning to sustainable urbanisation in Malawi.

June 1989 to Present

The aim of the Policy Communication Fellows Programme is to develop the next generation of leaders from the less developed world regions who will shape policy in their countries, regionally and globally. The programme is jointly hosted by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP).

Through this programme, Fellows learn, firsthand, local advocacy priorities and policy landscapes and how to tailor their research messages to relevant policy audiences. Fellows are mentored throughout the programme on different strategies to effectively communicate their findings to non-technical audiences. The Policy Fellows programme is committed to providing an enriching, cutting-edge experience for participants that reflects the diverse and constantly evolving landscape of policy and communications.

The year-long fellowship programme engages participants through a blended learning approach. Fellows are required to attend a week-long training workshop, complete instructional curricula online, and submit assignments throughout the fellowship.

Past Projects

January 2017 to June 2018

The study analysed the youth demographics in the East Africa Community (EAC) region and how this bears on ongoing demographic changes on the African continent which is characterised by declining fertility, child mortality and rapid population growth.

December 2013 to March 2017

The Strengthening Use of Research Evidence for Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (enSURE Adolescent and Youth SRH) project sought to increase the use of evidence in decision-making processes to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in Kenya.

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