The 2011 State of World Population Report was launched on wednesday with focus on the achievements, setbacks and paradoxes of a population of seven billion people.
In five days, that is October 31, the world’s population is projected to reach seven billion people. The issue at stake is not that of space to accommodate the seven billion people but that of putting the available resources in proper use for the benefit of the entire world. It is within this backdrop that, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT) on wednesday, October 26, launched the 2011 State of World Population Report with emphasis on the achievements, setbacks and paradoxes of living in the world of seven billion people.
While presenting the report, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Cameroon, Michel Balima, said women are on average having fewer children than they were in the 1960s, labour shortages threatening to stymie the economies of some industrialised countries, progress being made in reducing extreme poverty, and the gap between rich and poor widening almost everywhere. The State of World Population Report 2011 explores some of these paradoxes from the perspectives of individuals and describes the obstacles they confront and overcome in trying to build better lives for themselves, their families, communities and nations.
The report indicates that with planning and the right investment in people now, this will empower them to make choices that are not only good for themselves but for the society as well. Michel Balima said the world has the capacity to produce and feed the seven billion people on the earth surface, given that each day there are new discoveries which permit nations to produce and generate resources. The main challenge according to Mr Balima is for nations to properly use existing resources to produce sufficiently for the seven billion people. “We have to ensure equitable distribution of the resources available amongst all sectors in the society,” he added.
Just like other countries, Cameroon’s population of 20 million have youths as majority. With so many youths graduating from universities and schools without jobs, Michel Balima said there is need for the government of Cameroon to invest a lot in preparing the ground for these youths by giving them the capacity to become self-sufficient upon graduation. In this light the Minister Delegate at MINEPAT, Yaouba Abdoulaye, said a greater portion of its ministry’s budget is on youth’s empowerment through training and projects. He added that the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper which is being applied at MINEPAT will help provide viable solutions to tackle challenges in the youth milieu.