Africa: Out Of Poverty With Clever Women


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Population prospects for the continent look favorable. Africa now has the opportunity to write a success story for itself. Read our study to see how the continent could benefit from its demographic dividend.

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Africa: Out Of Poverty With Clever Women

  1. 1. Allianz Demographic Pulse issue June | 20102010: bright prospects for AfricaAfrica – population prospectsinspire hope of economic upswingFrom a demographic ria’s population is more than three least populous of the African World times as large as that of the host Cup countries.point of view, African country South Africa, which accord-countries will have a ing to the last census has just under Heterogeneous Africa 50 million inhabitants. Cameroon, The predicted population develop-historical opportunity in with 20 million inhabitants, is the ment in Africa spotlights the growingthe coming years to defeatpoverty – provided that 2050: one fifth of the global population lives in Africathe right actions are taken. Image © Pichugin Dmitry , 2010 / shutterstock.deIn soccer, African hopes will be pinnedon the African teams competing inthe World Cup: South Africa, Algeria,Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon andNigeria. These same countries alsoserve as prime examples of the chal-lenges facing the African continentas well as the opportunities openingup for them.The six African countries competing Source: Allianz/UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, World Population Prospects. 2008 revisionin the World Cup are among the most Countries represented in the World Cup The most populous countries of Africa.populous states in Africa. However, Forecast 2050: Africa will have 2 billion inhabitants.they differ immensely in size: Nige- 1
  2. 2. Allianz Demographic Pulse No. 2|2010 (June) 2010 Africa in the international comparison: many children – little prosperity Image © Gelpi, 2010 / shutterstock.deregional disparity between countriesin the north and south of the Africancontinent on the one hand and thecentral African nations on the other.Whereas the birth rates in centralAfrican countries like Nigeria andNiger remain among the highest inthe world, those in the north and Source: Allianz/UN Population Division, World Population Prospects. 2008 revision, IMFsouth of the continent have declined The higher the gross domestic product, the lower the birth rate.significantly since the 1990s. Accord- Average number of children per woman and GDP per to the UN, average birth rates inAlgeria and South Africa are now,respectively, 2.4 and 2.5 children per more than five children per woman, of them, is less than 1000 US dollarswoman. By contrast, in Nigeria each in the wealthier northern and south- per capita.woman has on average 5.3 children, ern African countries such as Egypt,in Ghana 4.3 and in Cameroon and Algeria, Morocco, Botswana and South More prosperity = fewer children?Ivory Coast 4.7. As a result, the popu- Africa it is less than three children per Is there a clear causal relationshiplation of Nigeria is expected to nearly woman. In Tunisia and on Mauritius between these two parameters anddouble in the next forty years. The birth rates have now fallen to as low if so, what direction does it take? Issame applies to Ghana, Cameroon as 1.9 and 1.8 children per woman. not having children the key to moreand Ivory Coast. By contrast, in South Angola and Equatorial Guinea are prosperity? Or does more prosperityAfrica and Algeria population growth exceptions to the rule: in those coun- make having children superfluous?will slow significantly. tries economic growth in recent years A review of the recent past favors the has been driven largely by petroleum latter explanation. Birth rates oftenAt the same time the six countries exploration. track economic development with aillustrate the differences in economic time lag. Once the standard of livingpower in the regions. According to the Interestingly, this negative correlation is raised, life expectancy usually in-IWF, the 2009 gross domestic product between birth rates and prosperity creases, while birth rates remain at aper capita was 5635 US dollars in South does not only apply to developing high level. The result is that popula-Africa and 3816 US dollars in Algeria. countries. We find the same relation- tion growth accelerates. Only after aIn Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast ship when we compare GDP per sustained decline in child mortalityit was only around 1100 US dollars, capita and birth rates of countries thanks to better medical care and aand in Ghana just 639 US dollars. This worldwide – but even more sharply higher standard of living as well asdisparity in prosperity is obviously defined. The wealthiest countries in rising child-care costs do birth rateslinked to demographic trends. the world such as Switzerland, Ger- drop. These expenses include not many and Japan also have the lowest only costs for educating children butEconomic growth vs children birth rates. In most industrialized also what are known as opportunityComparison of the prosperity of the countries the birth rate has now costs, for example income loss due toindividual African countries with fallen below the reproduction rate one parent having to give up gainfultheir birth rates shows a negative of 2.1 children per woman, which will employment in whole or in part incorrelation: the higher the GDP per ultimately result in a decline of the order to care for the children.capita, the lower the average birth population in these countries. At therate. Whereas most African countries other end of the scale are the African Education for womenin which the GDP is less than 1000 US countries with the highest birth rates Because child care remains the do-dollars per capita have birth rates of in the world and a GDP that, for half main of women in most countries. 2
  3. 3. Allianz Demographic Pulse No. 2|2010 (June) Literacy and birth rates – Africa in the international comparison Image © JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbisthe higher the educational level ofwomen, the lower the birth rate tendsto be. The key to lowering birth ratesand boosting economic growth liesin the education of girls and womenand thus the professional opportuni-ties open to them. UNESCO data onfemale literacy and UN population Source: Allianz/UNESCO, UN Population Divisionstatistics confirm this impression. African girls and women still have high birth rates and low literacy rates.Women in African countries with a Literacy rate among women in percent / birth rate.high literacy rate tend to have fewerchildren than their counterparts incountries where the literacy rate education of girls and young women. data, it was 0.73. The GPI is 0.85 inamong women is lower. In South Afri- However, Africa remains the continent Asia and 0.99 in Latin America, Northca, where around 90% of women can with the highest illiteracy rate and America, Oceania and and write, the birth rate is 2.5 the greatest discrepancy between thechildren per woman, whereas in educational levels of men and women. A glance at national statistics alsoChad, where around 80% of women UNESCO uses the gender parity index reveals marked regional differences.are illiterate, it is 6.3 children per (GPI) to measure this discrepancy. Whereas in South Africa the literacywoman. The GPI is defined as the number of rate in 2008 was nearly equal for women who can read and write per men and women at 89.9% and 88.1%,In recent years most African countries 100 literate men. In 2000, the last year respectively, only 21.9% of Chadhave increasingly invested in the for which UNESCO has published women but 43.8% of Chad men could read and write. The picture was simi- lar in Nigeria, where the literacy rate Good prospects for African countries was 71.5% among men but only 48.8% among women. In view of this fact, Image © Lucian Coman, 2010 / Nigeria has meanwhile placed more emphasis on the education of girls with the declared aim of lowering the birth rate by at least 0.6 children per woman every five years. Economic recovery Against the backdrop of these devel- opments, the UN predicts that the downward trend of birth rates will continue. At the same time, the aver- age life expectancy on the African continent is expected to increase by Source: Allianz/UN Population Division 11.4 years by 2050, though it will still remain below 70 years in most Afri- Low dependency rate is good for economic growth. can countries. From a demographic Dependency rates in percent: ratio of under-15-year-olds and over-65s to the population of working age. The lower the rate the better. point of view the stage is certainly set for an economic recovery, especially 3
  4. 4. Allianz Demographic Pulse No. 2|2010 (June)in the north and south of the conti- unique opportunity to defeat poverty. Why does Allianz care about demography?nent. In Algeria and South Africa, for And this “demographic dividend” As a global financial service provider, Allianzexample, the dependency ratios, i.e. raises the prospect of an economic believes demographic change to be of crucial importance. Identified as one of the majorthe ratio of under-15-year-olds and success story similar to that achieved megatrends, demographic change will holdover-65s to the population of working by the Asian emerging markets. Of the key to many upcoming social challenges,age, is already at US and European course this will require more political whether with regard to health, old-agelevels. In most of the other African stability and further progress along provision, education, consumption or capitalcountries this ratio is set to fall in the path of economic reform. The markets.the coming decades to levels that Western nations have every reason to What are the benefits of Allianzprevailed in western industrialized put their full weight behind these ef- Demographic Pulse?countries between 1960 and 1980. forts: A prospering Africa can very Allianz Demographic Pulse is based on theMeanwhile, most industrialized much help to offset the effects of an latest research into various aspects of demo-countries will see development in the aging society on the global scale. graphic change. Conducted and written by Allianz experts, it highlights current and glob-opposite direction towards “African It is in our own interest to devote our ally relevant demographic data and provideslevels”. This is due, of course, to the full attention to Africa, not only when an insight into their impact on worldwide eco-rapid aging of Western societies. it is hosting the World Cup. nomies and societies. To ensure up-to-date coverage of major developments in this field,Demographic dividends * See National Population Commission Allianz Demographic Pulse is published on a regular basis, thus providing ongoing andThese contrary trends highlight two of Nigeria, Population Policy detailed information about a major trend thatthings: Thanks to demographic trends, is shaping the world we live the coming years Africa will have a Why does it matter to journalists and the public? Demographic change is challenging today’s societies in many ways: People are getting older, and this raises the issue e.g. of long-term care and dementia. Furthermore in the future there will be a significant decline in the work- force in all of the world’s markets, triggering for example a challenge in pension funding. Only information, awareness and discussion on the topic will help to change attitudes,Editor: Dr. Michaela Grimm, Group Economic Research & Corporate Development behavior and situations, so hopefully solve urgent needs and come up with innovativePublisher: Allianz SE, Königinstrasse 28, 80802 Munich, Germany solutions.Claudia Mohr-Calliet, I More publications at: Do you have any comments, Allianz Group Economic Research & Corporate Development suggestions or questions? We look forward to your feedback! International Pensions at Allianz Global Investors Please contact: Claudia Mohr-Calliet, ++49 89 3800 18797 Allianz Knowledge Site assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements: The statements contained herein may include statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management’scurrent views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertain-ties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such state-ments. In addition to statements which are forward-looking by reason of context, the words “may”, “will”, “should”, “expects”, “plans”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “estimates”, “predicts”, “potential”, or“continue” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those in such statements due to, without limitation, (i) general economicconditions, including in particular economic conditions in the Allianz Group’s core business and core markets, (ii) performance of financial markets, including emerging markets, and including market volatility,liquidity and credit events (iii) the frequency and severity of insured loss events, including from natural catastrophes and including the development of loss expenses, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends,(v) persistency levels, (vi) the extent of credit defaults, (vii) interest rate levels, (viii) currency exchange rates including the Euro/U.S. Dollar exchange rate, (ix) changing levels of competition, (x) changes in lawsand regulations, including monetary convergence and the European Monetary Union, (xi) changes in the policies of central banks and/or foreign governments, (xii) the impact of acquisitions, including relatedintegration issues, (xiii) reorganization measures, and (xiv) general competitive factors, in each case on a local, regional, national and/or global basis. 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