Rwanda’s Optimism On Fertility Compelling

November 9, 2012 • Family Planning, Rwanda, News

Rwanda’s Optimism On Fertility Compelling
By Gitura Mwaura, 31 October 2012



It is one of those rare coincidences that three EAC countries should share a statistic independent of each other. Rwanda and Kenya currently share a similar fertility rate of 4.6 children per woman. Burundi is in the same range of 4.6.

The shared statistic perhaps may not mean much, except to remark the fact. But it draws attention to the two EAC member states, of which Tanzania’s fertility is 5.4 children per woman and Uganda’s 6.2.

Despite the similarity or difference in the fertility of their women, the five member states share one certainty: that their populations will continue to grow rapidly and remain very youthful, and that continued investments in family planning are necessary in order to promote the potential social and economic benefits of a more balanced age structure.

Let’s take the example of Rwanda and Kenya to take stock of the possibilities. The former for its dramatic achievements, the later for the blueprint it has just laid out for its future.

Rwanda’s ambition is to bring the fertility rates down to three children per woman. The optimism towards attaining this goal is compelling.

The 2010 demographic and health survey records that Rwanda’s fertility rate in the year 2005 as 6.1 children per woman. Today it is just over four children.

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