The National Populations Council (NPC), in collaboration with Akwamu Traditional Council, has organised a sensitisation workshop to educate traditional rulers on their role in population control.
Speaking on the theme ‘Teenage pregnancy and child-marriage, effects on sustainable national development’, Dr. Leticia Adelaide Appiah, Executive Director, NPC, said teenage pregnancy and child-marriage hinders development as they contribute to large family sizes and high population growth, thereby reducing families’ income.
“Assuming a fixed level of resources, high fertility and high population growth rate leads to a decrease per capita income in two ways: more consumers divide any given amount of goods; and, secondly, each worker produces less because there is less capital per worker,” she said.
The reason for sensitising the over 50 chiefs and queen mothers of the Akwamu traditional council, she said, is to build alliances among traditional authorities for intervention programmes on family welfare, including family planning, to facilitate achievement and sustainability of the goals and agenda of Ghana’s Agenda 2057.
Dr. Kobina Esia-Donkor, a senior lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, also expressed worry at the rate which the country’s population is growing; saying over 700,000 people are added to Ghana’s population annually, which does not correlate with advancement in social amenities or socio-economic infrastructure.
“The collapse of a nation starts with collapse of education. Norway invested in education and family planning to control family size and population growth.
“In the 1960s when Ghana’s population was around 6.7 million, Norway’s was around 3.5 million. Today, Norway’s population is around 5.3 million with one of the highest per capita incomes worldwide while Ghana’s populations is around 27 million with one of the lowest per capita incomes,” he said.
Odehene Kwafo Akoto III, paramount chief of Akwamu Traditional Area, expressed profound gratitude to NPC for the initiative and pledged his support for the campaign, promising to ensure that the message is spread across his territory – both at funerals and other ceremonial activities.
“I am cautioning the men in this traditional area to have self-control and stop disturbing female teenagers in order for them to be able to concentrate on their education.
“Fathers also have a crucial role to play in sensitising our daughters on teenage pregnancy and early sex, because they tend to relate to us more than they do with their mothers,” he explained.