This paper considers the question, what can governments in sub-Saharan Africa do to accelerate the decline of fertility in the region? It begins with a review and discussion of United Nations projections of fertility for sub-Saharan Africa, and suggests that in light of the stalling of fertility decline that has been observed in some countries of the region, those projections may be optimistic regarding the pace of fertility decline. An overview of the policy environment emphasizes several aspects of government views and policies on fertility and population growth and how they have changed over time, and some differences among sub-regions are noted. The Easterlin framework for fertility analysis serves as the theoretical framework for examination of how existing policies function to influence fertility. The paper concludes by discussing what governments can do to accelerate the decline of fertility.
Montgomery, M.R. (2000). Perceiving Mortality Decline. Population and Development Review, 26(4): 795-819.
Population Action International (2008). U.S. HIV/AIDS and family planning/reproductive health assistance: A growing disparity within PEPFAR focus countries. Doc. no. 324698 http://www.popline.org/node/199287
Price, N., & Hawkins, K. (2002). Researching sexual and reproductive behaviour: A peer ethnographic approach. Social Science and Medicine, 55(8): 1325-1336.
Retel-Laurentin, A. (1974). Infécondité en Afrique noire: Maladies et conséquences sociales. Paris: Masson. 188p.
Romaniuk, A. (1961). L’aspect démographique de la stérilité des femmes congolaises. Studia Universitatis Lovanium, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales, Vol. 3. Léopoldville: Editions de l’Université. 40p.
Schoumaker, B. (2009). Stalls and reversals in fertility transitions in sub-Saharan Africa: Real or spurious? Working Paper no. 30, February 2009. Université catholique de Louvain.
Shapiro, D. (2012). Women’s education and fertility transition in sub-Saharan Africa. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 2012 (Vol. 10): 9–30.
Shapiro, D., & Gebreselassie, T. (2008). Fertility transition in sub-Saharan Africa: Falling and stalling. African Population Studies, (23)1: 3-23.
Shapiro, D., & Gebreselassie, T. (2010). Falling and stalling fertility in sub-Saharan Africa. Revised version of paper presented at the IUSSP Seminar on Human Fertility in Africa. Cape Coast, Ghana, September 2008.
Shapiro, D., Kreider, A., Varner, C., & Sinha, M. (2013). Stalling of fertility transitions and socioeconomic change in the developing world: Evidence from the Demographic and Health Surveys. In: D. Tabutin & B. Masquelier (Eds.) Ralentissements, résistances et ruptures dans les transitions démographiques, pp. 47-64. Actes de la Chaire Quetelet 2010, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: Presses universitaires de Louvain.
Shapiro, D., & Tambashe, B.O. (2003). Kinshasa in Transition: Women’s Education, Employment, and Fertility. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Shapiro, D., & Tenikue, M. (2015). Women’s education, infant and child mortality, and fertility decline in urban and rural sub-Saharan Africa: A quantitative assessment. Revised version of paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America San Diego, CA, April 2015.