Monday, May 27, 2013

Capturing the Demographic Dividend in Pakistan launched

Pakistan News & Features Services

A book titled ‘Capturing the Demographic Dividend in Pakistan’ was launched in Islamabad recently. The ceremony was organised by the Population Council Islamabad, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). 


The speakers emphasized that Pakistan, one of the fastest growing nations in the world, needed to accelerate the pace of change in education since the country was experiencing a demographic dividend, a relative increase in the size of the working age population in comparison to the dependent population, which in principle is highly favourble to socio-economic development and presents an opportunity to significantly increase the quality of human capital by 2050.

It was stressed that the three main policy requirements were to invest in education as early as possible, add secondary education goals to those of universal primary education in setting future development priorities and invest in family planning programmes to lower fertility rates and thereby boost the effect of education on development.

Rabbi Royan, UNFPA Representative in Pakistan and an editor of the book, pointed out that the messages of the book were loud and clear with radical policy changes required in health, education and the economy to move forward.


Zeba Sathar, Country Director of the Population Council and editor of the book, noted that it’s very important to raise the challenges Pakistan faced with a growth rate of 2 per cent per annum.

Dr David Bloom, Professor of Economics and Demography, Harvard School of Public Health, who joined the discussion via a video-link from the US, urged the need for clear, concise policies in harnessing the potential dividend.

Dr John Bongaarts and Professor Wolfgang Lutz, leading international experts on population issues and authors of chapters also joined the meeting via video link.

In his keynote address on the occasion, Dr Shahid Amjad Chaudhary, Adviser on Finance, stated that education was the key as it affected fertility as well as poverty and health levels.

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