Understanding the economy of demographics
The new local representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Ms. Dennia Gayle, presented her Letter of Credentials to Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, on Tuesday this week.
During their first meeting, the two women discussed UNFPA’s goal to empower and improve the lives of underserved populations, especially women and young people including adolescents. “This empowerment is enabled by an understanding of population dynamics, human rights and gender equality, and driven by the needs of Namibians and tailored to the Namibian context” said the UNFPA in Namibia.
“I am very happy to be here in a country where we all have been given marching orders to eradicate poverty,” Ms Gayle stated, expressing UNFPA’s commitment to support Namibia in its battle against poverty.
Hon. Nandi-Ndaitwah on her part commended UNFPA’s contribution and assured the Representative of the government’s support and cooperation to make her stay in Namibia productive. Ms Gayle further stated that Namibia, as a country with an increasing number of young people, has the potential to reap the ‘demographic dividend,’ – which is accelerated economic growth due to the reducing dependency ratio as a result of an increase in the size of the working age population. This must be coupled with a decline in a country’s mortality and fertility rates with a subsequent change in the age structure of the population and investment in human capital. The ‘demographic dividend’ is however not automatic and requires enhancing human capital through increased investment in health, education, skills and employment as well as good economic policies and governance; to ensure that demographic change paves the way to deeper and more sustainable prosperity, a concept which very very few people understand.
A Costa Rican national, Ms Gayle comes with extensive experience in the formulation, management and oversight of health promotion programmes in the area of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.