The concept of demographic transition has been evident to European, North American and Japanese population since the early 1960’s. It loosely followed natural patterns that were postulated as far back as 1795. However, scientists and policy makers, still erroneously consider demographic transition to be absent in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this chapter is to uncover the hidden truth behind population censa in sub-Sahara African countries using Statistical tools. The chapter analyses philosophical basis of sub-Saharan Africa demographic dividends from 1960 to 2000. It then cautiously highlights how demographic transition is emerging in sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, it endeavours to highlight how different African countries are in different stages of demographic transition. The chapter also contrasts some of the prevalent misconceptions about Africans, especially the delusional idea of Africans as a homogenous population group on genetic basis. Lastly, it offers solution, to the current demographic chaos, and their relationship to future matured demographic transition in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Demographic transition
The sub-Saharan Africa is a vast land full of mystery. There is compelling indication, that the origin of man goes back to sub Saharan Africa (the Eastern part), [1, 2, 3] and the modern means of exchange in trade using money (in form of
The concept of
As far back as 1930, there was already evidence in literature for the concept of
Warren Thompson publication in the
Audrey Laundry was perhaps the most important scientist in bio-demography during the 20th Century. His views have largely been adopted by demographers and bio-gerontologists alike, when describing
2. Demographic trend in sub-Saharan Africa
2.1 Sub Saharan Africa: the basics
On a strict geographical context, sub-Saharan Africa is that region in Africa south of the Saharan desert [7, 8]. However, it is important to caution the reader, about the confusion associated with the term, found in published literature. For instance, while in actual sense (on the basis of geographical boundaries), all African countries, that are fully or partially located south of the Sahara desert, are referred to as sub-Saharan Africa, there exists a number of
The confusion highlighted in defining sub-Saharan Africa does not end with politics of the Arab world. It is rather comic, when one realizes that for some yet unknown reasons, the Republic of South Africa, and the islets of Mauritius and Reunion; are also generally left out, when discussing sub-Saharan Africa. To the best of the author’s understanding, this rather
Moreover, the story of the islands of Mauritius and Reunion is even more fascinating. Some of its neighbours (e.g. Malagasy & Seychelles), are annexes of the main continent. They are counted as part of sub-Saharan Africa. However, the two beautiful set of islets are left out independently. It is my opinion that, what so ever goes on with the exclusion of the Republic of South Africa, as well as Mauritius and Reunion, from the geographical regions of sub-Saharan Africa, to be a function of colonial history and attitudes, rather than real justifiable demographic phenomena. This is because there are more similarities, both in cultural traditions, values and even history, say between the Zulu found in South Africa and The Shona of Zimbabwe. Likewise, there are perfect resemblances between the Zulu of South African Republic and the Ngoni of present day day Tanzania than are between the Zulu and the South African whites. Besides, there are a number of cultural and social connections between residents of Madagascar and their companions in Mauritius – and even between inhabitants of Mauritius with those in Reunion, than between Reunion residents and French. Thus, to remove the ambiguities, it is important to stick to geographical markers, when describing the region referred to as sub Saharan Africa.
2.2 Sub Saharan Africa: demographic trend from 1960 to 2000
2.2.1 The philosophical basis of sub Saharan Africa demographic dividends from 1960 to 2000
The demographic trend of sub Saharan Africa for the period encompassing 1960–2000 reflects socio-political picture of the region. On demographic grounds, the year 1960 to Africa is as important to demographers as it is to historians. The year 1960 marked the political independence of at least seventeen (17) African states from colonial rule. This same year, also saw the re-incarnation of some of the new countries. For instance, Somalia republic was born, on 1st of July 1960, after the so called
The demographic divide in sub Saharan Africa reflects the anthropological variation, that has been evident in literature for a long time now [10, 11, 12, 13, 14]. Moreover, the genetic variation in modern day African population is causally related to demographic history . Changes in short- and long-range migration patterns, as well as changes in population size and social interactions, across different parts of sub Saharan Africa, have shaped its demographic and even genetic history, into its current unique profile. The islands of Unguja and Pemba (famously referred to as Zanzibar), that are part of the present day Tanzania may offer the best vivid example. Immediately following the Zanzibar revolution of 1964, there are reports that the act was accompanied by mass upheaval,  that resulted to social unrest- where by women of Arab, Indian and Persian origins; reported to have been sexually assaulted, and a significant majority raped [15, 16]. Much to the same reported atrocity, others were forced into marriages, with the local African population or neighbors of different cultural base [15, 16, 17]. The results of the reported
2.2.2 Trends of 65+ years population in different sub-Sahara African countries
Analysis of demographic transition in sub-Saharan Africa, needs constant attention and appraisal, for a variety of reasons. First, there exists a lot of confusion in merging data for demographic analyses across different sub-Sahara African states. This also goes hand in hand with data augmentation processes. The cause behind this being unpredictable and rapid population migration; from one state to another, for a multitude of reasons over time. The aftermaths of which, being failure to appreciate the population growth trends, as per standard principles of demographic analyses. This applies whether one studies
Besides, there appears to be a lot of what may safer be termed as
Nigeria, a country located in the mid-Western region of Africa, is currently the most populated of all in Africa. It is a federation comprising of 36 different states, with Lagos counted as the largest city; not only in Africa but in the entire continent . In the past, and until very recently, Cairo (An Egyptian capital) was the most populated city in Africa. From a demographic stand point, Lagos may be termed as a
It is especially interesting, for the reader to notice that, factors responsible for
From the above description, I considered it crucial to analyze individual national population growth trend over time. The motive behind this undertaking, using the best available/retrievable data, is to appreciate the coherent structural changes, in defined and politically bound, population trend over time.
18.104.22.168 Population growth trend over time for ≥65 years old in Tanzania
Tanzania is a country situated on the East African coast. It is an amalgamation of two (2) different independent former nation states of
It is important to realize that population growth trend for any demographic segment in Tanzania is likely to have a mixture distribution. There are key attributes, for this rather statistical picture,
Moreover, and maybe of practical importance to any demographer and aging researcher, are the historical events that culminate important hallmarks for the elderly population growth changes in Tanzania. Tanzania, from its point of formation in 1964 (official union time) to early 1980’s, exercised a uniform increase in population growth to all demographic segments over time. However, and this comes as an important demographic hallmark, HIV/AIDS was first reported in Tanzania sometimes in 1983. It is highly likely, that immediate impact of HIV/AIDS, to be responsible for the
There are countless vivid evidence, that shows effects of HIV/AIDS, in the trend statistics of ‘≥ 65 years’ population cohort in Tanzania [25, 26, 27, 28, 29]. Of paramount importance to bio-demographers and bio-gerontologists in the field, is perhaps trend statistics over time associated with demographic sect of ‘≥ 65 years’ in Tanzania. It is important for one to recall that, HIV/AIDS in Tanzania, initially contributed to significant increase in mortality among youth and young adults. Thus, the relative increment in population of ‘≥ 65 years’ in Tanzania, observed between 1978 to 1988, has been accounted before, to be likely a relative phenomenon, secondary to massive deaths in younger generations in the population pyramid, almost exclusively due to HIV/AIDS in the same period .
HIV/AIDS epidemic in Tanzania went on without any significant clinical course during 1980’s to mid-1990’s. HIV/AIDS victims died, simply by following the natural history of the infection. Ante-Retroviral Therapies (ART) against HIV in Tanzania started in mid-1990’s . These drugs do not cure HIV-infection. Rather, they slow down the progress, with newer varieties significantly preventing viral replications in human cells and tissues. The immediate impact at individual level being, regressing in the speed, to which HIV infection would otherwise cause death without intervention over time. That translates to, HIV-infected individuals living almost normal life, resembling those without HIV infection. However, their impact on mortality was not reflected in demographic data until around mid-2000’s . Thus, even though there are clues of a probable
At present, it is important to realize that, there are projections suggesting average life expectancy at birth for both Tanzania and
22.214.171.124 Population growth trend over time for ≥65 years old in the Republic of South Africa
The Republic of South Africa (RSA) is a relatively new nation state under post-colonial African perspective. It was officially made a republic, under majority rule, independent nation in 1994. However, much as the goal of this chapter, is to inflict knowledge to readers, it is important to underscore, the fact that, no other country in Africa, is as a subject to
On a strict demographic sense, the Republic of South Africa is at the midst of a
Over time, Republic of South Africa has reported a relatively steady growth in her cohort of ‘
There are a number of possible postulates readers are advised to consider, when analyzing the observed demographic trend in Republic of South Africa over time. First and perhaps the most important, is the fact that there are sharp differences in reported data between what happened in RSA prior to 1990 versus what ensured thereafter. The exact cause of this observation is not clear even to the author of this chapter. However, there are a number of speculations worth appraisal on forensic grounds. For instance, it is highly likely, that reported data prior to 1990’s, reflected a segment of South African population only. This is because, what is currently referred to as Republic of South Africa, was essentially under ‘
Otherwise, RSA is among countries worst affected by HIV/AIDS. Much as it is a multi-racial country on demographic sense however, “Black South Africans” are the majority. The same cluster has the highest all-time prevalence of HIV in RSA to date. Unlike other sub-Sahara African countries, RSA has the highest population inequality in their health system. “Black South Africans” are the largest population group without health insurance and/or reliable social security. By far, they are also the main segment of South African population with highest all-cause mortality rates of all. The fact that the largest mortality effects due to HIV/AIDS became vivid in RSA statistics around 1990’s is also worth recognition. It is highly likely therefore, that the attenuated effects of mortality trend statistics from Figure 2, to reflect “Black South Africans” health inequalities, as a
Besides, readers should avoid the temptation to believe improved longevity (>65 years population growth) to be equivalent to improved health among South African population. It is currently common knowledge that South Africa is among countries with the highest per-capita consumption of ARTs for HIV in the world. Thus, just like Tanzania, a significant proportion of South Africans lives with HIV, and are likely to enter old age with the HIV-infection. The same ‘cohort’ is likely to suffer from significant morbid conditions, either associated with HIV itself or long term consumption of ARTs against HIV, some with known tolerable side effects, and therefore adding up in multi-morbidity statistics and reduced Quality of Life (QoL) in later life.
126.96.36.199 Population growth trend over time for ≥65 years old in Nigeria
Nigeria is a federal republic situated on the West side of Africa, North of the Gulf of Guinea. It is a multiethnic state, with more than two hundred ethnic groups. The main demographic clusters are dominated by Igbo (East), Yoruba (West) and Hausa-Fulani (North) . Nigeria is the largest country by population size in the continent of Africa. About 3% of its current population is considered ≥65 years of age . The ‘
The ≥65 population trend in Nigeria for the period encompassing 1960 to 2000 is as shown in Figure 3 below. It is worth noting that the total population size of Nigeria has been continuously increasing over time, ever since it got her independence from Britain back in 1960.
From the Figure 3 below, there are several research line of thinking to social researchers, demographers, policy makers and planners as well as to clinicians and clinician-scientists at work. First, it is still ill-understood how does the rapid aging population in Nigeria influences public health, social and economic milieu of Nigerian society at present and in the future? Moreover, given the over-burdening in the unprepared Nigerian economy, how to safely ensure resource allocation and utilization without causing ever-lasting damages in the Nigerian economy? Lastly, how does Nigerian public health system prepared to tackle the emergent epidemics (all chronic diseases!) associated with conditions that occur almost exclusive in later ages? All these challenges are likely to become
188.8.131.52 Population growth trend over time for ≥ 65 years old in Egypt
Egypt, officially Arab Republic of Egypt, is colloquially referred to as
Egypt is the third-most populated country in Africa, after Nigeria and Ethiopia, with over 100 million inhabitants. It is among countries that are considered Afro-Arabic, as dependent on how you analyze Egypt, it may be part of Africa or Arab world. The decision to include Egypt as part of this analysis was not an easy task. For real, on geo-political sphere – Egypt is not part of sub-Saharan Africa. However, on a strict historical note, and perhaps considering Egyptian’s ethnic groups, some have typical ‘
3. Hallmarks in the pattern of
demographic transitionin sub-Saharan Africa
One silly mistake that scholars and researchers make about Africa; is the assumption that Africans are a homogenous cluster of human beings. Perhaps, there are probably few (if any) other overt gross mistakes on earth today than this! To put matters into perspectives, no other human race is as
At present, there appears to be a disconnect, to appreciate that most of the political borders, that define African countries, are essentially a historical accident, with almost completely no role in identification of any distinct African ethnic group. Africa is at present identified solely based on what happened in the city of Berlin, Germany between November 1884 and early February 1885. To this end, while it is logical to assume distinct ethnicities across different geographical areas, say between Italians North of the city of Rome, from those in the South, it is a matter of total
It is worth noting that the pattern of
From a bio-demographic point of view, HIV/AIDS pandemic picture that was introduced in this chapter is not unique to Tanzania. In fact, it is highly likely, that a similar situation, to be applicable to Republic of South Africa as well as Nigeria. However, additional information needs to be retrieved to prove this agenda; an activity that was considered beyond the objective of this chapter. However, as a matter of intellectual maturity, the author wishes to suggest that, HIV/AIDS effect on the demographic trends, is highly likely to create a more complex picture, in sub-Saharan Africa over time. For instance, whereas the earlier era, the picture adapted in this chapter was contributed by HIV-infection spread under natural history; present day and future patterns are likely to be significantly influenced by chronic and debilitating conditions, associated with ante-retroviral agents against HIV. Thus, whereas in the past, HIV contribution on demography was mainly on mortality statistics, future trend is highly likely to be dominated by prevalent chronic conditions, and therefore shifting the picture, from mortality to morbidity statistics. The author believes that, societal consequences of HIV/AIDS pandemic, to contribute significantly on demography of diseases and deaths, at later ages in future Africa.
If one considers later life success (i.e.
Moreover, by analyzing the current trend in
On clinical grounds, and this serves as an important alert notifications, to healthcare decision makers and healthcare workers,