Is It Possible to Rescue Sub-Saharan Africa?
Bryjak, George J., USA TODAY
The 46 nations that comprise Sub-Saharan Africa arguably are the most troubled countries of the Third World. All of the problems that beset developing nations exist there in their most debilitating form. These largely are attributable to rapid population growth, which directly or indirectly is related to famine, environmental degradation, civil war, massive unemployment, a growing refugee crisis, and the spread of diseases such as AIDS and the Ebola virus.
With a population "doubling time" of a mere 24 years, Sub-Saharan Africa's almost 600,000,000 inhabitants will number more than 1,200,000,000 (approximately the same population as present-day China) in the year 2020 and 2,400,000,000 (the population of the entire planet at the end of World War II) in 2044. By way of comparison, the doubling times of the U.S., Austria, and Slovenia are 114, 866, and 6,931 years, respectively.
In "An Essay on the Principle of Population," published almost 200 years ago, English economist Thomas Maithus argued that, while food production increased arithmetically (the yield per acre, for example, going up by one, two, three bushels at a time), population grew geometrically (two, four, eight, 16, etc.). Eventually, the population in any one region (and later the entire world) would outstrip the ability of its inhabitants to feed themselves. Malthus believed that, before people starved to death, many would be killed off by disease and war.
While the "Parson …
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Publication information: Article title: Is It Possible to Rescue Sub-Saharan Africa?. Contributors: Bryjak, George J. - Author. Magazine title: USA TODAY. Volume: 125. Issue: 2626 Publication date: July 1997. Page number: 34+. © 2009 Society for the Advancement of Education. COPYRIGHT 1997 Gale Group.
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