The Westerners: What do they mean when they say Africa is overpopulated?

For quite some time now, any time the topic of overpopulation comes to the fore, many people automatically think about Africa due to the consistency with which the media has associated the continent with that narrative. Why not Europe?

UK’s Prince Williams once said, “Africa’s rapidly growing human population is predicted to more than double by 2050 – a staggering increase of three and a half million people per month. There is no question that this increase puts wildlife and habitat under enormous pressure. Urbanization, infrastructure development, cultivation – all good things in themselves, but they will have a terrible impact unless we begin to plan and to take measures now”

The fact of the matter is that the whole of Africa, a continent made up of 54 countries has always been reduced to just a country like you have seen in the above quote and used to present issues at the international front or its collective data compared with individual countries in Europe with wrong conclusions drawn for mischievous purposes. This deliberate practice has gone on for a long time now.

If we address issues with the right image of African countries in comparison with the right image of European countries, there will be a lot of lapses left to ponder over. Let’s take a look at the following argument.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo is five times bigger than the whole of France but France, as small as it is, have almost the same population size with the DRC which is about 67 million as of 2016. If we want to raise the argument of overpopulation, which among the two falls in that bracket?

Second; the land size of the United Kingdom UK is smaller than that of Gabon as an individual country detached from the remaining 53 African countries. However, UK has a population of more than 60 million people resident in the country relative to Gabon’s population of just over 1.5 million. Moreover, a micro country like Belgium with just over 30000 km square, 167 times smaller than Congo has a population of 11 million people.

It is irrefutably true that Africa recorded a surge in population over the years but it is a warped logic if not a complete fallacy to strike a comparison between the population rate of Africa (as used in the right senses of 54 countries) and these individual European countries and draw a conclusion that the former is overpopulated.

Funny enough, ‘philanthropists’ and ‘population experts’ from these overpopulated countries troop into Africa all under the guise of helping Africa to plan and manage population growth and we embrace their ‘expert’ knowledge. Is it time we re-initiate these conversations to help deal with these false beliefs that the continent has been targeted with many forced to swallow over the years?

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