Uganda’s population is projected to hit an estimated 40 million people by the end of the year according to the Uganda Population Council.
Speaking ahead of the World Population Day slated for next week, Dr. Jotham Musinguzi the executive director of the uganda population council said there are several factors leading to the increase from about 34 million during the last census.
Musinguzi while addressing the media highlighted teenage pregnancies due to lack of sensitization and early marriages due to poverty as some of the factors that have led to the population boom.
The Ugandan government’s lack of commitment to family planning is the main reason for the country’s extraordinary population growth, says Carl Haub, a demographer at the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy group. The PRB study indicates that only 20 percent of married Ugandan women between the ages of 15 and 49 have access to contraception. Women in Uganda have an average of 6.9 children, compared with a global average of 2.7 and an African average of 5.1. Some government officials consider this a boon and may in fact be encouraging high birth rates; President Yoweri Museveni has called the nation’s population explosion a “great resource.”
While infrastructural development in Uganda is envisaged to drive the economy into a middle income status by 2020, little attention has been paid to the drivers of economic growth, such as agriculture and human development.
Agriculture employs 72% of Uganda’s population yet received only 3.8% allocation; while education which is the gateway to knowledge and skills was allocated 11% of the budget share and health received only 7.4%. Whether the unclear number of refugees in Uganda are to benefit from these shares, is another discussion.
In terms of employment, Mr Ogen said paid employees were more predominant in urban areas with 48 per cent compared to rural areas which constituted 27 per cent.
In terms of distribution of labour, Kampala City had the highest proportion of the employed persons in paid employment with 53 per cent followed by peri-urban Kampala with 53 per cent. The Karamoja region had the lowest proportion of 18 per cent, he said.
For sectoral employment, agriculture, forestry and fishing as well as the services sectors provided more employment to Ugandans with shares of 41 per cent and 42 per cent respectively compared to production sector with only 16 per cent.