A country’s ‘demographic dividend’, the economic benefits that it reaps from its age pyramid, often accrues when an increase in the proportion of a country’s working-age population (typically arising from declining fertility) is accompanied by public authorities’ and private organization’s effective
investments in health, women’s empowerment, education and employment. A number of African countries have entered (or are in the process of entering) this phase of demographic transition. Continent-wide, this could represent an estimated benefit of up to US$500 billion every year over a 30-year period, boosting economies and enabling hundreds of thousands of people to escape from poverty and improve their quality of life. However, the demographic dividend isn’t automatic; capturing it requires immediate multisectoral and targeted investments.
I proudly present this Demographic Dividend Programming Guide, which makes concrete recommendations for decision makers who are setting up a comprehensive national policy to harvest the demographic dividend. It is a unique toolkit, based on a nine-step programme, translates the demographic dividend concept into political measures.
This Programming Guide was produced by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) through its West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO), with the financial support of the World Bank.
It is part of a commitment UNFPA made five years ago to support the African Union’s efforts to rally stakeholders around the demographic dividend in order to achieve the objectives of the 2030 and 2063 Agendas.
As the leading UN agency for Population and Demography, UNFPA has performed extensive research work to understand the demographic dividend phenomenon by analysingprevious experiences, drafting recommendations and implementing projects in the regions concerned by this issue. This Programming Guide originally aimed to offer orientation and guidance for the Sahel countries participating in the Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) Programme of WCARO.