Large unproductive population creating high dependence levels, says report

There is need to tackle youth unemployment to reduce dependence levels. Photo | File 

What you need to know:

A report by National Population Council indicates that the structure of Uganda’s population means that half of the country's population is purely consumptive, rather than productive yet there has been a drastic increase in demand for social services. 

A new report by National Population Council shows that majority of the 78 percent youth population is unproductive.

The report, which was released yesterday, indicates that the structure of Uganda’s population means that half of the country is purely consumptive, rather than productive, with increasing demands for social services. 

“As the country aspires to become an upper middle-income country by 2040, it will need to transform from a predominantly peasant and make the youthful population productive,” the report says, noting that such an age structure is not conducive to the country’s aspiration of attaining middle income status.  

Speaking at the launch of the report, Mr Jotham Musinguzi, the National Population Council director general, said the country’s erstwhile high and slowly declining fertility coupled with a high but declining mortality have produced a rapid population growth rate of 3 percent per annum.

The growth, he said, has created a high dependency level thus putting a lot of pressure on available resources. 

“For Uganda to achieve its Vision 2040 and foster socioeconomic transformation, it requires that the young population transforms into a productive, innovative and entrepreneurial human capital that will contribute to the economic growth,” Mr Musinguzi said. 

Uganda’s population is currently estimated at 39 million people, 78 percent of which are youth. 

Mr Musinguzi noted that under Vision 2040, Uganda must harness the demographic dividend as one of the key strategies towards achievement a middle income country.

Uganda developed the demographic dividend strategy, which specifies key strategic interventions to address constraints and related bottlenecks to development as well as recommending strategic interventions that are critical to social economic transformation. 

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