The demographic dividend refers to the accelerated economic growth that is initiated by a rapid decline in fertility and mortality that results in a change in the age structure from one dominated by child dependents to one dominated by economically productive working-age adults. However, the dividend is not automatic or guaranteed and has to be earned by making strategic investments to improve education and skills development, health, economic reforms and job creation, and good governance and accountability. These were the ingredients for the success of the Asian Tigers who exemplify a substantially harnessed demographic dividend.
The pace of fertility decline in most African countries has been slow, but these countries can invest in programs to facilitate rapid fertility decline that will initiate the age structure change to one dominated by working-age adults. Coupled with the other requisite investments, this change can ignite accelerated and inclusive socioeconomic development. AFIDEP’s DD project believed African countries can earn a substantial demographic dividend and is at the center of activities and efforts to make this a reality.
- AFIDEP provided technical assistance to governments in the region in conducting comprehensive analytical studies to guide policy and investment actions to harness the demographic dividend (DD)
- AFIDEP strengthened local technical capacity in generation, translation, and use of evidence related to DD and targeted government officials from multiple sectors such as ministries of planning, finance, health and the population divisions, as well as faculty and students from universities and research institutions in our capacity building activities
- AFIDEP engaged in advocacy on DD including producing policy briefs, issue briefs and active involvement in DD dissemination fora to engage with political leadership in the region to bring DD to the policy front
The studies also featured the results of scenario and projection-based models, comparing several different possibilities for future socio-economic development against each other to show the varying benefits of different combinations of investments. The models projected multiple scenarios showing how the combined power of policy investments in family planning (FP), health, education, and the economy can generate a sizeable DD.
Our work advancing the demographic dividend agenda 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 supported 14 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.
The project developed study reports and policy briefs for 14 African countries that highlighted the prospects of several African countries for harnessing the demographic dividend (DD) and identified the unique priority options for maximising the dividend.
- Government ministries and state agencies – Ministries of Finance and Planning, Health, Education. Planning and Population state agencies (NPA, NCPD)
- UNFPA – UNFPA ESARO, UNFPA WCARO, UNFPA country offices
- The Palladium Group (formerly Futures Group)
- Hewlett Foundation
- Academic institutions (University of Dar es Salaam, Makerere University, University of Zambia, among others)
|Dates:||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.
|Where:||Angola , Botswana , Cameroon , eSwatini , Ethiopia , Kenya , Malawi , Mozambique , Namibia , Senegal , South Africa , Tanzania , Uganda , Zambia , Zimbabwe|
|Project Manager:||Bernard Onyango|