RX Radio presenter Olive Najjuma has said many Africans suffer from a vicious cycle of poverty because they give birth to large numbers of children they can’t afford to take care of.
She was seconding Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s appeal to women to adopt family planning to curb the baby boom in the East African Country.
President Suluhu expressed concern over the high birth rate in her country and appealed to women to embrace contraception after visiting the western region of Geita, where one health center registered over 1000 births in one month.
She expressed worry over the number of schools, health centers, and food that will be needed to feed and house such a number three years later, hence imploring the women to use birth control measures.
“I think this is a good message from President Samia because Africans are languishing in poverty partly because of the high birth rate. We have more children than we can afford to care for. Before long, the family lives in a vicious cycle of poverty,” said Olive.
She argued that many Africans are poor because they continue having children minus planning for needs like Education, and Medicare, among others.
However, James Onen, aka Fatboy, reasoned that having few children could be a boomerang to the country’s economy due to low production capacities. Olive insisted that even with the high numbers of people, like in Uganda, the youths who could have provided the labour lack employment, and adding onto their numbers would fuel the fire.
“I do not think the problem is because we have too many youths but rather the government policies and taxes that are not helping the local investors to expand their capacity to employ more people,” replied Fatboy.
Adding, “we have a ridiculously stressful tax regime as locals. Foreign investors get tax holidays but try opening a small business as a local, you will not get the tax holiday. A lot of our problems as Ugandans are rooted in the policies. As Ugandans, we are very creative and innovative, but our government does not support local businesses.”
Olive responded that due to such circumstances limiting the survival and growth of businesses, Ugandans should have more reasons to control their birth rate.
“Even as you run a small business with children, you will have to eat into it to fend for the big family. Before long, you have run a business for ten years, but it remains stagnant because of family needs. You will keep earning hand to mouth despite running a business,” Olive reasoned. Olive noted that rich people tell poor people to produce for the country yet they maintain their small numbers of children. “They have the money, the resources, and networks but commit to having few children, why should a poor person take their advice?” Olive questioned.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.