In 1950, 10% of all children lived in Africa. This percentage has doubled within half a century, and it is expected to double again by around the middle of this century.
In Africa there will be around 1 billion children below the age of eighteen by 2050, and by the end of this century almost half of all children will be African.
The reason behind this is extremely high birth rates. In Africa, 3.4 million children are born every month; between now and 2050, there will be 1.8 billion children. The average fertility rate in Africa is 4.7 children per woman. In Asia this number is 2.2 children per woman, and the global average is 2.5.
Child mortality has also decreased. In 1990, one in six children did not reach the fifth year of life, but following improved water quality, sewerage and hygiene through Western efforts, this number has decreased to one in eleven. In a number of countries, especially in West and Central Africa, however, the absolute number of children who die prematurely has remained the same or even increased, because more and more children are being born.
High fertility rates are linked to poverty. As soon as prosperity increases, the number of births will decrease. A necessary condition for prosperity is to reduce population pressure. Development aid without effective family planning and contraception is like trying to fill up a bucket full of holes.
In fact, development aid without this objective is not only wasted money, it is in fact worsening the situation.