Every four years, the Union for African Population Studies (UAPS) organizes a Conference on the status of African population with the aim of sharing and disseminating scientific information on key population, health and development issues facing the African continent and also to promote the integration of research evidence in policy formulation.
The Conference provides an opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing between researchers, policy makers, programme managers, public health experts, international development partners, and other key stakeholders in the population and development field. This also means that any policies and programmes formulated are evidence-based.
The African Population Conference is held every four (4) years and seven conferences have so far been successfully organized by the Union of African Population Studies (UAPS) Secretariat and respective African Countries.
- The first Conference was held in 1988 in Senegal;
- The second was divided into four sub-conferences held in Kenya (1990), Burkina Faso (1991), Botswana (1992) and Côte d’Ivoire (1993).
- The third Conference took place in South Africa (1999);
- The fourth in Tunisia (2003);
- The fifth in Tanzania (2007);
- The sixth in Burkina Faso (2011);
- The seventh in South Africa (2015).
- The Republic of Uganda will be hosting the 8th African Population Conference.
The key objectives of the forthcoming 9th UAPS Conference are to;
- Facilitate dissemination and critical evaluation of new research findings on emerging population issues and their implications for socioeconomic development of Africa;
- Facilitate networking between researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders in the field of population, health and development in Africa;
- Enhance the visibility of African population issues on the global scientific and development discourses;
- Identify key knowledge and methodological gaps to improve quality of science and application of research evidence in formulating effective policies and programmes in Africa;
- Facilitate capacity building and development of analytical and communication skills of the next generation of experts in population and development.
Theme of the Conference
In recognition of the prevailing population and development dynamics on the African continent, the forthcoming 2019 Union of African Population Studies Conference will focus on the theme “Harnessing Africa’s Population Dynamics for Sustainable Development: 25 Years after Cairo and Beyond.”
Africa, in general, is a very young continent. About 40 percent of the population is below 15 years of age, and an additional 30 percent fall between 15-24 years. This demographic profile presents a unique opportunity to achieve massive socio-economic transformation through harnessing the Demographic Dividend (DD). The Demographic Dividend is the economic benefit that arises following a significant increase in the ratio of the working-age population relative to dependents (children and the elderly), in the workforce.
Africa at a glance
- The current population of Africa is 1.3 billion in 2019, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
- Africa’s population is equivalent to 16.7% of world population.
- The total land mass (area) is 29 million Km2 (or 11 million sq. miles)
- 43% of the population is urban
- The median age in Africa is 19.4 years.
Africa’s demographic dynamics are shaping its present and future development agenda. Perhaps the greatest and most fundamental challenge is to address the economic and social development issues of a continent that will be home to 1.5 billion people in the next ten (10) years (UNECA 2016) and is expected to reach 2.5 billion by 2050. Therefore, the theme of the Conference ‘Harnessing Africa’s Population Dynamics for Sustainable Development: 25 Years after Cairo and Beyond’ is very relevant to Africa.
The theme is also relevant to Uganda which is one of the youngest nations in the world. It is important to note that Uganda’s population is predominantly young (over 70% are under the age of 30 years). This young population is a potential asset for national development through harnessing the Demographic Dividend which is also important for achieving Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan. Therefore, Uganda will not only share the pathways towards attaining the Demographic Dividend in cognizance of the Country’s Vision 2040 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals, but will learn from countries that have advanced in domesticating the 2017 African Union Roadmap of Harnessing the Demographic Dividend.
Uganda has made good progress in the field of population and development, some challenges notwithstanding. Progress has been made in the following areas:-
- Uganda’s population has increased from 14 million people in 1986 to 42 million currently;
- Life expectancy in Uganda has increased by 20 years in one generation from 43 years in 1991 to 63.3 years in 2017;
- Infant mortality rate (per 1000) reduced from 122 in 1986 to 43 in 2016;
- Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births) reduced from 506 in 1986 to 336 in 2016;
- HIV/AIDS prevalence rate has decreased from 18.5% in 1991 to 6.0% in 2016
- Malaria death reduced from 20 per 100,000 in 2016 to 9.38 per 100,000 in 2017 largely due to distribution of insecticide treated nets (ITNs);
- Primary school enrollment has increased to 80% in 2016;
- Literacy rate has risen from 54% in 1991 to 75% currently (this refers to those who can read and write in their language);
- The economy expanded more than ten times from UGX 9.5 trillion in FY1995/96 to UGX 128.5 trillion in FY2017/18;
- GDP per capita almost tripled from USD 264 in 1986 to USD 725 in FY2017/18;
- Percentage of population with access to electricity more than doubled from 11% in 2010 to 23% in 2016;
- The total paved roads network as a percentage of total national roads more than doubled from 8% in 1986 to 21.1% (or 4,551 km) as of May 2018;
- Electricity generation capacity increased from 150MW in 1986 to 974.2MW in 2018.
Conference Venue and dates
The 8th African Population Conference will take place at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda from November 18 - 22 November 2019. A comprehensive programme developed by the Conference organizers includes a special day that has been dedicated to Uganda to showcase population and development best practices including the rich, diverse and beautiful culture, tourism and environmental beauty that the ‘Pearl of Africa’ has to offer in terms of wildlife safaris, adventure, sport, food, culture and entertainment.
What are the likely benefits for Uganda as a host country?
Uganda will benefit from the scientific knowledge and research that will be shared in the Conference, in addition to the networking opportunities that will be realized through the presence of various researchers, demographers, statisticians, planners and public health experts from across the world.
The Conference will also provide a boost to Uganda’s hospitality and tourism sector as a result of the big number of guests that will be visiting the country to participate in the Conference.
Uganda has recently successfully hosted several international conferences including the recently convened 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), one of the largest annual gatherings of Commonwealth Parliamentarians which took place from 22 to 29 September 2019 at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, an idyllic venue by the shores of Lake Victoria. We also successfully hosted the Africa Now Conference in March 2019, under the theme, ‘Towards a secure, Integrated and growing Africa’, which was aimed at harnessing the energy of the African youth in forging a secure, integrated and growing Africa.
Hosting the forthcoming 8th African Population Conference will therefore be another opportunity to share with the rest of the world, the Pearl of Africa’s hospitality, beautiful environment, great weather and wonderful facilities that will certainly make the Conference a success. Hosting the 8th African Population Conference will also result in an increase in spending and injection of money into the local economy. The attendees of the conference will spend money directly into the local economy through the purchase of locally available goods and services.
For more details on the 8th African Population Conference please contact the National Population Council, that is organizing this important Conference on behalf of Government, at www.npcsec.go.ug
HON. DAVID BAHATI - MP MINISTER OF STATE FOR FINANCE, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (PLANNING)