Angola witnesses the second highest early pregnancy rate in sub-Saharan Africa, only next to the Democratic Republic of Congo, said the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
In every 1,000 women aged 15-19 in Angola, at least 163 have given birth said UNFPA humanitarian program officer Luis Samacumbi here on Thursday.
Addressing a teenage pregnancy conference, Samacumbi said that many of the pregnant teenagers were victims of molestation, and the UNFPA aims to put an end to all forms of gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls, such as child marriage and early pregnancy.
Fernanda Ricardo, head of an Angolan civil society organization Rede Mulher, stressed the need to combat all forms of discrimination against women in the country.
Over-Population in Africa
Africa, with more than 1.2 billion people, is the second-largest and second most populous continent on earth, and this has been blamed largely on the very high fertility rates and the little family planning in most regions.
In spite of the global gains in securing sexual and reproductive rights over the past 50 years, many population groups are still left behind, this year’s SWOP report released by the United Nations Population Fund said.
It said that global fertility rates have roughly halved since the agency began operations in 1969. But it also highlights how reproductive rights remain inaccessible to many, including more than 200 million women worldwide who want to prevent a pregnancy but don’t have access to contraceptives.
“The lack of this power – which influences so many other facets of life, from education to income to safety – leaves women unable to shape their own futures,” said UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem.
By 2100, more than half of the world’s growth is expected to come from Africa, experts say, as the continent experiences exponential growth in life expectancy apart from its relatively young population.
While it’s a good thing to have a higher life expectancy in Africa, there are concerns that the continent might become overcrowded. Analysts argue that prolonged lifespan will cause economic inactivity by older workers, which will ultimately lead to an economic disaster across Africa.