Capitalizing on the young population for power, growth and development
Source: Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC)
Date: 10 November 2017
Description: Uganda's high population, dominated by the youth has always been seen as a bad thing. However, with the right skills building and facilitative environment, Uganda stands to capitalize on these numbers to become a prosperous country, opines Martin Luther Munnu.
According to the 2014 National Population and Housing Census Report, Uganda’s population was at 34.6 million people, which represents an increase of 10.4 million persons from the 2002 census. The population in 2016/17 was estimated at 36.9 million persons, with a Life Expectancy estimated at 63.3 years in 2014, up from 48.1 years in 1991.
Uganda’s population is expected to increase further. The high population, dominated by youth presents an opportunity for a country to build a long-term base for power, economic growth and ultimately development due to the benefits.
At a household level, a large population is a problem, in terms of a high dependency burden and associated increase in expenditures on food, health, and education.
However, at a macro level, a high population increases on consumption, providing markets which is crucial for increased investment, trade and subsequently development. This in turn presents better opportunities for households to get themselves out of poverty. Even within Uganda, places with higher population have lower levels of poverty.