The persistent relatively high levels of fertility and population growth in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are considered by many policymakers as a major obstacle towards economic progress on the continent.
This neomalthusian interpretation of demographic trends is, however, disputed by some scholars, who insist on the need to examine demographic change within the particular social and anthropological realities of the cultures involved, and also within the political economic context, without focusing on the demographic variable in isolation.
Many would argue that, in addition to the technical analysis of demographic data, interpretations of demographic trends are closely intertwined with philosophical values and can be subject to ideological influences particularly within the policy environment of the international population community.
The speaker will explore different perspectives on demographic change in the context of sub-Saharan Africa, paying particular attention to the case of Kenya. He explains the relatively high levels of fertility, mortality and population growth in sub-Saharan Africa, despite the many decades of population programmes focusing on raising levels of contraceptive prevalence. Having explored the different philosophical perspectives, attention will be focused on empirical trends in relation to the dynamics of population change in the region.
Professor Grimes is an emeritus Professor of Geography at the Institute for Business, Social Science and Public Policy; National University of Ireland, Galway. He has published extensively on a wide range of topics both in economic and population geography, and has served on Ireland’s Services Strategy Senior Advisory Group. The main focus of his research has been on foreign investment in Ireland and China, and more recently has been looking at the contribution of multinational Research and Development activity to China’s emerging innovation landscape.
See poster below.