BUJUMBURA July 13th  (ABP) – “Burundi is facing an imminent danger of a population explosion,” warned Mr. Faustin Ndikumana, Chairman of the Word and action for the awakening of consciousness and change of mentalities (PARCEM) during a press briefing on the occasion of World Population Day on Wednesday.

On that occasion, he indicated that Burundi has a density of more than 350 inhabitants / km2, a fertility rate of 6 children per woman, a growth rate of the population of around 3% with more than 1000 births per day, a young population (75% of the population) and more than half of whom are unemployed. He also deplored the fact that the growth rate remains low. Faced with that situation considered “alarming”, Mr. Ndikumana is worried about an imminent risk of a population explosion.

He added that the main idea of ​​any policy is to be constantly concerned that man is the center, the Alpha and the Omega of the economic development of a nation. Apart from that, he said, the development is, in its true sense, missed. According to the PARCEM chairman, the growth rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the true indicator of economic dynamism for a country.

He also deplores the narrowing of arable land. He pointed out that in 1960 there was 1.5 ha per household, 1.04 ha per household in 1973, 0.5 ha per household in 2009 and that in 2015 it was 0.12 ha per household.

To that end, he wonders whether the government has the capacity to feed an increasingly growing population coinciding with the significant reduction of the cultivable space while preserving the environment. Mr. Ndikumana also finds that Burundi does not have enough means to provide adequate training to the youth that continues, he says, to gallop at a rate of a scourge. In such circumstances, PARCEM points out that the State must, with specific and measurable indicators, in particular, the rate of fertility rate, population growth rate and contraceptive prevalence rate, take appropriate measures, those tools serving pivotal role of any national population policy in a global context of national planning.

PARCEM does, however, point out two bitter constants. A ministry of the Plan that disappears more and more when it had to channel all the initiatives going in that direction. In the absence of the latter, Ndikumana proposes a center of research, orientation, piloting of the reforms and economic development.

Secondly, he noted a lack of clarity in the reference documents where we usually find  “The 2018-2027 Decade Development Plan” while there was “Vision 2025” that seemed to guide planning. The question that persists in him is whether a document can be adopted without evaluating the current one.

Mr. Ndikumana noted that all policies, even the 2016 Public Service Performance Document, refer to the 2025 Vision. In response to that situation, PARCEM makes some recommendations to the government. It recommends the establishment of a population policy whose national ownership is effective and regularly assessable and the re-establishment of the Ministry of Planning, which should coordinate planning at the government level. It also recommends the establishment of a center for research, guidance and steering of economic reforms and the removal of the blur in reference documents to planning.

World Population Day was established in 1989 by the Board of Directors of the United Nations Development Program, following the great interest aroused by the “Five Billion Day” celebrated on 11 July 1987. Its objective is to draw attention to the urgency and importance of population issues.

By resolution 45/216 of December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly decided to maintain World Population Day in order to raise awareness of population issues, including their link with the environment and development.

From then on, World Population Day has been commemorated annually in many countries by United Nations Population Fund offices and other organizations and institutions, in partnership with governments and civil society. The theme for 2018 is “Family planning is part of human rights”.

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