By Josephine Nyarkoh, GNA
Kumasi, Aug 31, GNA – The Chairperson of the Asante Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church, the Reverend Kofi Amfo-Akonnor, has called for a scale-up of the effort to slow down Ghana’s population growth rate.
This comes amid the report by National Population Council (NPC) that the country’s population had been rising at an alarming rate of 2.5 per cent annually over the last three decades.
The figure is far beyond the globally acceptable rate of 1.5 per cent.
The Rev Amfo-Akunnor said a more comprehensive population policy should be developed to reduce child morbidity and mortality, to aid birth control.
Making the call through the Ghana News Agency (GNA), he said that was vital to ease pressure on the economy and the natural resources.
He said although God commanded mankind to procreate to fill the earth, this demanded that everybody showed responsibility – to take good and proper care of what they produced.
He compared the rate of growth of Ghana’s population and that of Singapore for the last 60 years and indicated that while that of the West African nation rose from 6.7 million to 27 million during the period that of the Southeast Asian country had gone up to 6.3 million from 2 million.
This, he said, must leave nobody in doubt that Ghana had a serious problem of uncontrolled population growth and it was time to sit up and to get the right things done.
The Rev Amfo-Akunnor expressed strong backing for the NPC’s position that pragmatic steps must be taken to pause the fast-growing population.
That was the way to go to help the government to deliver on its development agenda.
“Few births means better investment in human resources and this translates into better standards of living of the people”, he added.
He asked that family planning was made a top national priority and said this required intensification of public education campaign to encourage married couples to plan the size of their family.
There should also be massive sex education for adolescents to check teenage pregnancies.
He urged his colleague priests to use the pulpit to assist the congregation to have better understanding of the need to keep smaller families.