The average number of children per woman ranges from 6 to 8 for most countries. The Africans' preference for large families is deeply rooted in the culture and fed by the perceived economic benefits they receive from their children. Economic stagnation during the s prompted many national governments to recognize that rapid population growth was hindering their socioeconomic development.
The political climate has shifted away from pronatalist or laissez-faire attitudes toward official policies to slow population growth. The policy formation process--detailed here for 4 countries Zambia, Nigeria, Zaire, and Liberia --is ponderous and beset with political and bureaucratic pitfalls, However, policy shifts in more and more countries combined with evidence of increased contraceptive use and fertility downturns in a few countries give some hope that the region's extraordinary population growth may have peaked and will start a descent.
Whatever the case, the decade of the s will be crucial for the future of sub-Saharan Africa. To win, multinationals need to plan effectively by basing their strategies on realistic assumptions, tracking the macroeconomic leading indicators impacting their industry and customers, and using scenarios to mitigate downside risks.
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Business Thando Maeko Analysts in the United States, Algeria, and Europe have argued that despite problems such as political dysfunction and an underperforming economy, the current Algerian leadership and wider population place such a premium on stability that the country will maintain its political status quo in the next ten to twelve months. However, that approach has been criticised on various grounds notably by Arcand, Guillaumont and Jeanneney , and it is arguable that the salience of ethnicity in African political and economic life is as much a response to as a cause of the difficulties of enlarging the economic cake in African conditions and of the continued weakness of State capacity. During the inter-war decades the continued use of forced labour by colonial administrations came under sustained pressure from the International Labour Office in Geneva. Gulf state competition for influence in Algeria would further complicate U.
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