“By 2050, a quarter of the world population will be Africans” Edward Paice, The Guardian.
Despite the worldwide fertility decline African countries have the highest fertility rate in the entire world especially Niger which are now in a great population explosion it reaches 6.596 which means that the average number of children in one house is seven children, but from the positive side, we can say that the fertility declined 1.33% from 2021 that indicate the increase of awareness and the spread of birth control knowledge among Nigerien people. However, with the small improvement in their fertility rate, the question remains what the reason for this high rate is?
Poverty in Niger:
About 40% of Nigerien people live under the poverty line earning less than 1.90$, about 80% of the population live in rural areas and one of the main reasons is the appearance of many refugees and migrants, especially from countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso. Climate Crisis is also a reason which makes many African countries live in poverty and what is always discussed at many climate conferences this year is a great chance to discuss this critical issue in COP 27 to fund such poor countries as the consequences are not a disaster for Niger only, but it affects all the world.
Child brides in Niger:
Niger is home to five million child brides, with two million married before age 15 according to the least UNICEF records in 2021. Child marriage surely makes a lot of physical and mental health problems for these children. Many Nigerian girls expressed emotional distress and depression due to fulfilling marital responsibilities and sexual demands from their husbands. Lastly, Plan International Niger is helping girls establish confidence to fight child marriage in their communities. As a result, the young girls are using their voices and asking their leaders to end child marriage and provide them with an education to gain independence through employment. The Plan International Niger placed child protection committees throughout Niger and provided them with the tools to protect the rights of young girls to ensure change.
- Low use of contraceptive
A study made by Harvard University mentioned that the low use of contraceptive methods in west Africa is because of financial, sociocultural, and infrastructural barriers, and cultural and religious beliefs. To decrease that danger, both the president and prominent athletes publicly back reproductive health campaigns, with support through investments from the German Development Bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)
Over one-third of the Nigerien women are married in polygamous unions and may one of these marriages is a child which affects both populations and the women’s health.
The Nigerian government is currently now working hard to remove all these reasons to have a good and healthy community and to let all the children have a good education quality and gender equality which apply to the rules of the SDGs suggested by the UN to have a better world.