Tanzania's President John Magufuli has urged women to stop taking birth control pills, saying the country needs more people, despite the fact that the East African country has one of the highest birth rates in the world.
In addition to Tanzania’s high birth rate of more than five children per woman, nearly 50 percent of its 53 million people live on less than $2 a day. “I have travelled to Europe and elsewhere and have seen the harmful effects of birth control. Some countries are now facing declining population growth. They are short of manpower,” Magufuli said. “ I see no reason to control births in Tanzania . It is important to reproduce,” he added.
Tanzania's President John Magufuli
President Magufuli said in Meatu on Sunday that since residents of the area are mostly livestock keepers and farmers, they can then feed their children and thus no need of opting for birth controls. It was not the first time for President Magufuli to talk about his opposition to birth control. In 2016, soon after the start of the free public education for primary and secondary schools, President Magufuli said Tanzanians can give birth to as many children as possible because education was no longer expensive. Speaking in Parliament on Monday, opposition MP Cecil Mwambe criticised the comments, saying they contradicted the country’s health policy. Tanzania has a population of around 60 million people. The UN predicts Africa’s population will double to around 2.5 billion by 2050.