Children in Damaraland, Namibia. Photo: Flickr/Richandalice
Herero women- NamibiaPhoto: Flickr/Wietse Jongsma
Namibian guide at Twyfelfontaine. Photo: Flickr/BockoPix

In 2017, AFIDEP in partnership with the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) of the University of Cape Town and UNFPA, concluded studies in Botswana, Namibia, the Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), and Zimbabwe, on their prospects for harnessing the demographic dividend.The results of the study revealed that the population age structure in the four countries  is generally more favourable to earn the dividend than in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. Compared to an estimated average of 54 percent of people in the theoretical working ages 15 to 64 years in sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion is 60 percent in Namibia. The window of opportunity to harness the demographic dividend is expected to close in 2060 in Namibia.Globally, young people begin to be independent by earning more labour income than what they consume at age 26. The age of economic independence is 28 years in Namibia. The country has unemployment rates of 40% for young people aged 15-24.The studies give the following policy options for the Southern African countries to maximise the dividend:

  • Facilitate further demographic transition by ensuring universal access to voluntary family planning, with particular focus on reducing the high levels of teenage pregnancies and early marriages.
  • Reinforce investments in nutrition and health to improve child survival and ensure a healthy labour force.
  • Prioritise economic reforms and investments to accelerate the creation of jobs and other well-paying livelihoods for youth.
  • Improve quality and relevance of education to produce a competitively skilled workforce.
  • Strengthen public institutions to facilitate effective and accountable service delivery and use of public resources.

Research Report:Towards Maximising the Demographic Dividend in Namibia Research Brief:Towards Maximising the Demographic Dividend in Namibia

Namibia is among 14 African countries that AFIDEP has supported to develop awareness and policy options for harnessing the Demographic Dividend

Key Details

Population Indicators

  • Total Population (millions): 2.4 (HDR 2019)
  • Population ages 15- 64 (of total ppn-millions): 1.5 (HDR 2019)
  • Population under age 15 (% of total ppn): 37% (PRB 2019)
  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR) (births per woman): 3.4 (PRB 2019)

Economic development

  • Gross domestic product (GDP) per Capita (2011 PPP $): 9,898 (HDR 2019)
  • Poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines (% of ppn): 17.4 (WB 2015)
  • Share of youth not in education, employment or training, total (% of youth ppn): 31.8 (WB 2018)

Health and well-being

  • Infant mortality rate (per 1000 live births): 31.8 (HDR 2019)
  • Government health expenditure (% of total): 9.1% (HDR 2019)

Education and skills development

  • Literacy rates, adult (%, ages 15 and older): 88.3% (HDR 2019)
  • Government expenditure on education (% of total): 3.1% (HDR 2019)

Environment and Climate

  • Agricultural land (% of land area): 47.1% (WB 2016)
  • Forest area (% of land area): 8.3% (WB 2016)
Sources:World Bank Reports (WB)UNDP Human Development Reports 2019 (HDR)Population Reference Bureau World Population Datasheet 2019 (PRB)

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