Vol. 7 No. 2 (2023)
Editor Reviewed Articles

How Can African Countries Address Climate Change Problems and Optimise Demographic Dividends for Socioeconomic Development?

Sunday Adedini
Federal University Oye-Ekiti / University of the Witwatersrand / Center for Health Economics and Development
Olumide Taiwo
Center for Health Economics and Development
Oluwole Smile
Center for Health Economics and Development
Olasunkanmi Ajala
Center for Health Economics and Development / Anchor University
Sijuwade Ojuko-Aladejana
Center for Health Economics and Development
Paul Akeni
Center for Health Economics and Development

Published 2023-07-10 — Updated on 2023-08-29


  • Climate change,
  • Population dynamics,
  • Demographic dividend,
  • Socioeconomic development,
  • Africa

How to Cite

Adedini, Sunday, Olumide Taiwo, Oluwole Smile, Olasunkanmi Ajala, Sijuwade Ojuko-Aladejana, and Paul Akeni. 2023. “How Can African Countries Address Climate Change Problems and Optimise Demographic Dividends for Socioeconomic Development?”. The Journal of Population and Sustainability 7 (2):15-30. https://doi.org/10.3197/JPS.63799953906867.


As all 54 countries in Africa strive to overcome their different socio-economic challenges, the climate crisis as well as the unsustainable population growth appear to be threatening the attainment of national and international development agenda across the continent. This paper presents the relationship between climate change and population dynamics; how Africa can address the problems of the climate crisis and rapid population growth, and create the potential to harness a demographic dividend and accelerate economic growth. Many African countries need to take necessary measures to achieve a rapid and sustained fertility transition, including providing access to quality family planning services, reducing adolescent fertility, educating female children, empowering women, reducing under-five mortality and expanding labour market opportunities. These are necessary conditions for fertility transition and reaping the benefit of a demographic dividend in Africa. As African countries take strategic steps to catalyse fertility transition and accelerate economic growth, there is a need to take urgent measures to fight the climate change crisis which appears to be eroding socio-economic gains across the continent. While Africa adds only a trifling fraction of the global greenhouse gas emissions, the continent bears a disproportionately significant portion of the detrimental impact of climate change. Without the necessary actions to stem and reverse the consequences (such as health crises, food insecurity due to the destruction of crops by severe weather, the destruction of livelihoods and increases in the numbers of internally displaced persons), climate change is likely to have significant negative effects on the achievement of the sustainable development goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. There is a need to address the twin problems of unsustainable population growth and climate crisis in Africa.


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