The Myth of Africa’s Over-Population….
I wrote this a couple years ago…though some of my opinions my have changed, the core rings true…check it!
There is a very popular myth that is floating in the air in many Afrikan cities…’you are overpopulated’ it whispers…’ Have less children’ it urges…’ STOP having sex, especially with HIV/AIDS everywhere…stop having SEX!’ it screams….
Afrika is poor, not overpopulated. ‘Oh realllllyyy’- some may say-, ‘poverty means that you guys don’t have enough resources to feed your people so the best way to ‘solve’ that problem is by reducing the population burden on your countries’. This is the typical line of logic that is presented to Afrikan, and this is the typical rationale given to Afrikans as to WHY we should ‘stop having so many goddarn children’. “I mean really’- some ‘community development experts’ patronizingly say ‘Africans can’t even feed themselves. They should figure out how to do that first before they have more kids’. So I am writing this to debunk this myth of Afrikan overpopulation that has been CRAMMED down our Afrikan throats for decades.
Afrika is NOT overpopulated because of ITS OWN population. We have been made to feel overpopulated because of OTHER PEOPLE’S population and THEIR needs. But before we get TOO deep, lets start at the bleeeeeddddddinnng beginning and define overpopulation:
From The American Heritage® Science Dictionary.
Pronunciation: “O-v&r-“pä-py&-‘lA-sh&n : the condition of having a population so dense as to cause environmental deterioration, an impaired quality of life, or a population crash
From Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary.
overpopulation (o’v?r-pop’y?-la’sh?n) The population of an environment by a particular species in excess of the environment’s carrying capacity. The effects of overpopulation can include the depletion of resources, environmental deterioration, and the prevalence of famine and disease.
Are we clear on the definition? Ok now lets proceed and clear up this myth.
There are several factors that cause the depletion of natural resources, environmental deterioration, famine and disease. You don’t need to be a bloody rocket scientist to figure THAT out. Overpopulation is basically when you have too many people and too little resources AVAILABLE TO THE PEOPLE that things go haywire.
So let’s look at the resources Afrika DOES have and then look at its population and then try to marry the two.
As you can see Afrika rides high in terms of the sheer volume of the amount of valuable resources that the world uses.
OIL (3rd largest in oil reserves)
And as you can see we’re really not very many people ‘globally’ speaking.
Keep in mind that Africa is SO much bigger than the US, China and India…infact its larger than the three COMBINED.
As you can see, China, Europe and the USA can all fit into Afrika and yet Afrika has MUCH less than their combined population. I mean China’s population stands at 1.34 billion and India 1.17 billion compared to Afrika’s 1 billion for heavens sake. So what a gwaaaan man?! Well as you all know and should be well aware of, certain parts of the world consume FAR more than they have as nations or continents.
And don’t talk t o me about ‘Well Afrika should be making loads of cash since they’re exporting so much oil and raw minerals and so they SHOULD be able to feed their people’. Although there is some truth in this, REMEMBER that we’re busy servicing a debt over $200 BILLION. What that MEANS is that Afrika pays $14 billion ANNUALY in debt to rich countries.
So are we all now a little clearer on one important reason WHY Afrika is unable to feed its people? Afrika isn’t overpopulated, those countries that rapaciously gobble the resources of OTHER COUNRTIES are the ones that are overpopulated. I mean China recognized this problem and enforced a one-child policy (and this has had its own grotesque consequences such as ‘the barren branch’—namely the man who has no children because now in China there aren’t enough women to go around. The one-child policy caused many families to abort female pregnancies in favor of male ones—now many Chinese men have no Chinese women to have children wit h…and THAT is some serious shiiiiit)
As for the US and Europe I personally do not know of any development expert going to these countries preaching the message of ‘the seriousness of overpopulation’. Luckily (or unluckily depending on where you stand) Europe is beginning to suffer a fall in population because people just don’t wanna have kids maaan. They’d rather do their own thang and kids aren’t a part of that. So of course many European governments are getting their panties tied in a knot as to the ‘economic repercussions of population decline’. But what is neary unfathomable is that DESPITE the fact that many European countries are barley replacing their population—the European energy and natural resource demand continues to RISE. Yeah…that’s right each person is consuming more and more and more and more to the extent that one wonders just when this insane hyperconsumption will end!
As for the US…these figures say it all….daaaamm guys!
OIL IMPORT DEMANDS
The US either needs to stop using being so comfortable with using so much of OTHER PEOPLE’S resources or they have to stop having kids.
And we all know that China’s now experiencing a deep hunger for energy….
The competition for Afrika’s resources is getting intense and its clear we’re being fought over:
So as you can see…Afrika continues to be accused of creating a monster that has been and STILL IS being created by the idiocy of others. If anything, Afrika struggles from UNDERpopulation. We don’t have enough people to effectively exploit our own resources FOR OUR OWN GOOD. I mean keep in mind, that millions of Afrikans were taken away during slavery and many more are dying of what people like to call ‘diseases of poverty’- which are basically diseases that shouldn’t be killing Afrikans but ARE killing Afrikans because many Afrikans do not have access to basic medical care. Then of course we have the much publicized HIV/AIDS epidemic that has killed 2.9 million people of which 2.1 million are Afrikans-(as to WHY is a story for another day but I will ask this: Why is it that countries in the global north have higher STD infection rates than Afrika and YET have LOWER HIV transmission and infection rates?)
So now I hope you have a broader understanding as to just what overconsumption by one group of people does to another group of people. Afrikans starve not because of our own use of OUR natural resources but because of the manner in which OUR natural resources are being hoarded by others…