The Director of the National Population Council, Dr Leticia Appiah has called on the government of Ghana to give incentives to small families as a way of managing the country’s fast-growing population.

In an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, Dr Appiah said Ghana must emulate other developed countries that have used this method as means of population management.

She argued that the population structure must to be configured in a manner that the consuming population does not outweigh the producing population.

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“It is not the number but the structure of it. If you look at the UN population prospect for 2017, the structure is there – 0 to 14—the world statistics is about 26%. Meanwhile, in Africa the 0-14 age bracket is about 41%, Asia, it’s about 26, Europe is less than 20%.”

“In India for instance, they are trying to delay time of delivery during the marriage. So they are incentivizing that. So if you marry, and you have your first child after three years, there is a package for you. So then if you [Ghana] also have a higher dependent rate, then you [government] have to incentivize small family size. You have to make small family size attractive and a norm,” she added.

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Her comments come after a Chief Statistician with the Ghana Statistical Service, David Kombat revealed that Ghana’s population is now estimated at 29.6 million.

This is an increase of over 5 million after the 2010 population and Housing Census which recorded a 24.5 million population at the time.

Meanwhile, the representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, recently encouraged African leaders to prioritise the management of the rate of increase in the population of their countries as it could negatively affect their economic growth.