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  1. 1

    A new Africa dawning.

    Peterson J

    POPULI. 1986; 13(2):4-19.

    In the early 1970s the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) provided major support for censuses in Sub-Saharan Africa because of the paucity of population data. The Fund then increasingly supported studies that clarified the relation between population and development, promoted awareness of population issues, and provided the foundation on which national population policies could be built. Recently the expanded interest in and demand for family planning services, in the context of maternal-child health care, have received an increasing share of UNFPA allocations. The Fund also places great importance on projects that contribute to the development of Africa's human resources. Most African leaders have devoted increasing interest and commitment to population issues signalling an emerging consensus that population is a major African issue, deserving of urgent attention. Although awareness among African leaders has risen dramatically in recent years, the formulation and implementation of population policies is still at an incipient stage and many obstacles remain to be overcome: low level of resources for socioeconomic development, lack of infrastructure, inadequate data and the dearth of trained manpower. Declining mortality rates and continuing high fertility rates are largely responsible for the surge in the African population growth rate in the 1970s and 1980s. Rates of economic growth and per capita food production are low and in some cases decreasing. To the extent that the population factor plays a role in determining the region's future, it should be an integral part of socioeconomic development plans. In accordance with the approach suggested in the World Population Plan of Action, UNFPA works with African governments on the wide variety of population issues the countries themselves perceive as important.
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  2. 2

    Population, resources, environment and development.

    United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs

    New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. ix, 534 p. (International Conference on Population, 1984; Statements ST/ESA/SER.A/90)

    Contained in this volume are the report (Part I) and the selected papers (Part II) of the Expert Group on Population, Resources, Environment and Development which review past trends and their likely future course in each of the 4 areas, taking into account not only evolving concepts but also the need to consider population, resources, environment and development as a unified structure. Trends noted in the population factor include world population growth and the differences between rates in the developed and developing countries; the decline in the proportion of the population who are very young and the concomitant increase in the average age of the population. Discussed within the resource factor are the labor force, the problem of increasing capital shortage, expenditures on armaments, trends in the supply and productivity of arable land, erosion and degradation of topsoil and energy sources. Many of the problems identified overlap with the environment factor, which centers on the problem of pollution. The group on the development factor was influenced by a pervasiv sense of "crisis" in current economic trends. Concern was also expressed regarding the qualitative aspects of current development trends, defined as the perverse effects of having adopted inappropriate styles of development. Part II begins with a general overview of recent levels and trends in the 4 areas along with the concepts of carrying capacity and optimum population. Other papers discuss the impact of trends in resources, environment and development on demographic prospects; long-term effects of global population growth on the international system; economic considerations in the choice of alternative paths to a stationary population and the need for integration of demographic factors in development planning. The various papers on the resources and environment factor focus on resources as a barrier to population growth; the effects of population growth on renewable resources; food production and population growth in Africa; the frailty of the balance between the 4 areas and the need for a holistic approach on a scale useful for regional planning. Also addressed are: social development; population and international economic relations; development, lifestyles, population and environment in Latin America; issues of population growth, inequality and poverty; health, population and development trends; education requirements and trends in female literacy; the challenge posed by the aging of populations; and population and development in the ECE region.
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