By Azania Post Reporter
TANZANIA has been urged to put into operation the socio –economic reforms in timely manner in order to avoid social and political instability.
This was said in Dar es Salaam by the Pathfinder country director, Dr Joseph Komwihangiro, during a dissemination workshop on prospects and challenges for harnessing demographic dividend in Tanzania.
He said as Tanzania aspires to become a middle income country; failure to implement the socio-economic reforms in a timely manner may result in social and political instability when the youthful ‘surplus’ labour force is not economically engaged.
“A future with healthy, well educated people living in robust and developed economies indeed, this is a progressive march towards the ‘Africa we want’ as envisioned in Agenda 2063.”
He added that Tanzania must implement progressive socio-economic policies and invest accordingly in fertility control, health, education and skills development especially for young people for the country to transform into middle income economy.
At the same time, the country has to step up investments aimed at creating a globally competitive labour force and industry focused economy, that will ensure that the surplus labour force is gainfully employed.
On his part, Senior Lecturer at University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Dr Wilhelm Ngasamiaku,said demographic dividend describes the gains that a country gets from the demographic transition where the number of income earners is huge compared to that of dependents.
He said that for Tanzania to realise a demographic dividend, fertility must continue to decline combined with the right investments in health, education and job creation to open a window of opportunity for economic growth.
He said if Tanzania makes substantial investments in reproductive health and family planning, fertility levels may begin to decline more significantly and children will be more likely to achieve better basic levels of health.
Presenting the findings on demographic dividend, concept and result, he said as of midyear 2016, Tanzania had a population of 55.6 million and annual population growth rate of 3.1 per cent and 45.2 per cent of Tanzania’s population was under age 15.
He further said that the average number of children per woman over the course of her lifetime had declined from 6.2 children in 1990 to 5.2 children per woman in 2015. UDSM collaborated with Pathfinder International to publish a research brief and analytical report on the demographic dividend in Tanzania.