How age structure and size of Uganda's population is dangerously dictating our bad living-poverty


Demographically, researchers look at the age and sex structure of a country and use the information to predict a country's burden in terms of socio-economic transformation. Concerning this, Uganda is made of very many young people of ages 15 years and below (48.7%) (State report, 2014). About 3.2% are old people of 65 years and above, the rest are between 15-64 years (ie about 47%).

According to demography writers like Bongaarts (2009), populations of ages below 15 and those above 65 are considered dependent and those between 15 and 64 are productive. Though it is possible to have those below 15 and above 65 being productive and those between 15 and 64 being dependent, the above interpretation generally applies if we left other factors or extremes constant.

So what is the Uganda's challenge? Uganda has the highest number of young population of ages below 15 who are indeed non-productive. This problem is worsened by the great unemployment among the youth (16-35 years) and yet this is the age that is expected to be productive. And yet most of our old people are so sick, poor because of poor pension schemes and saving culture, they are therefore so dependent too.

The above situation simply means that with the current population of Uganda (about 38 millions),  more than 50% people are dependent on the few who are working or productive. That is why we are so poor. Those who are working have many mouths or dependents to feed and cannot save and develop themselves and those who are not working are indeed poor. While the report of 2014 says that our population living the poverty line has reduced, the same reports insists that people living on less than one dollar (about 3500 shillings) per day are still many (about 19%) and this time there is too much inequality in economic or financial freedom with the poor becoming more poorer and the rich becoming richer.

Is the problem going anywhere? Yes, it will go away if we all realize this and work together. According to Uganda's report (2014), suggestions include working with citizens, civil society and church to enrich education, emancipation and economic support among women. This is because the fertility rate of Uganda is still high 6.2% and this is a bad move in a country that is already burdened with very young dependent people. Women who are working, economically productive, educated and highly emancipated have a controlled fertility rate. This is important.

Also, the government needs to invest in youth and innovative activities creating youth employment. Investment in health was cited by the report as one of the ways the country can maintain the already born children and grow them into very healthy and productive Ugandans. Also education system needs to be revamped so that its products are heavily equipped with skills to deal with the ongoing unemployment and non-accelerating entreprenuership.

The church has a big role to play (this is my opinion again). According to me, we have a big percentage of poor people in our societies simply because the church and its teachings have turned them into lazy people who spend all productive hours at the church praying and singing and then moving around the country in name of evangelism. This must be reduced, God likes working people. Also, the recent church's approach to family planning especially the Roman catholic church is not helpful, religions have to understand the value of family planning in our case and enlighten its followers about the trends.

And as i have stated above, we may not make a shift if the government continues working the way it is doing now (my opinion again), corruption, embezzlement of money and these political explorations must be checked. The health sector and education sector are both collapsing. Despite the recent seemed improvements in structures, we still have low staffing and low salaries, high taxes on employed people, no drugs and equipment and methods of delivering in both health and education needs to be revamped. This requires heavy financing, improved staffing and salary, monitoring and evaluation plus accountability. Without this, we are nowhere.

Remember, the projections of the populations of most African countries as reported by UN will have to triple by 2050 with some countries increasing by 4. That means we will be about 80-90 millions by 2050 if nothing is done. This will automatically increase the food burden, poverty and unemployment and so many more problems associated with high and non productive population. Also, Bongaarts (2009) highlights that even when the population is maintained to the later years of production through improved medicine and treatment of the diseased children, that adult population is still unhealthy (morbid) and thus will not be as productive as those who have been healthy since childhood. For this reason we need preventive approach to the health status of our people and not necessarily improved treatment in hospitals. This can be done through improved determinants of health like education, employment, peace and security and observing human rights, women emancipation, good housing and accommodations, improved environment sanitation and protection, and so much more especially improved and very healthy agricultural means to lead to healthy production of healthy foods. That is our status so act well.

If you love this, toward it until it reached any government official at least in parliament or state house. I rest my opinion. But as some panelist once said, the problem is i am diagnosing but i am not able to deliver treatment. Sorry about that.....

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Born from Uganda, Nemeyimana Vicent (Nemvicx) has become what people call, "coming from nothing to something". Professionally, he is both a nurse and public health officer and currently works with Mulago National Referral Hospital. In 2016, he wedded his wife and great sweetheart, Amulen Winfred (also a professional Midwife and counsellor). Besides their professions, Nemvicx is an inspirational writer, singer, motivational speaker, author of several digital books. He a theologian and blogger at (The Complete You Ministry).

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