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Training Workshop on the Demographic Dividend

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 15-24 September 2014


Organized by the IUSSP Network for Strengthening Demographic Training in Francophone Africa

 

The Network's Steering Committee: Parfait Eloundou Enyegue (Chair), Gervais Beninguisse, Philippe Bocquier Valérie Delaunay, Jean François Kobiané, Richard Marcoux.

 

This training workshop was organized at the Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population (ISSP), Université de Ouagadougou, by the IUSSP Network for Strengthening Demographic Training in Francophone Africa (FraNet) in collaboration with the ISSP and the Cellule d’Appui à la Recherche et l’Enseignement des Institutions Francophones d’Afrique (CARE-IFA) based at IFORD (Cameroon). 

 

 

This was the third training workshop organized by FraNet on the demographic dividend; the first was held in Ouagadougou in November 2013, and allowed participants to validate the methodology and produce the first results and analyses; the second was held in Yaoundé in April 2014 and included a presentation of the results to representatives of the media, civil society and policy makers. Whereas the first two workshops focused on dividends in the realm of education, the third workshop dealt with economic growth as well. The workshop brought together forty participants from a dozen countries in Africa: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo DR, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, Senegal. 


The workshop had three main objectives: 

 

1. Take stock of current knowledge on the prospects and conditions for a demographic dividend in Africa and its potential role in the emergence of African countries. It was an opportunity to review empirical results of recent studies on this issue as well as new conceptual developments.

 

 

2. Introduce participants to several methods to analyse the dividend. After reviewing the main methods used up to now (NTA, simulations, projections, causal analysis, decomposition) and their specific strengths and weaknesses, the workshop focused on decomposition methods and their application to the study of the dividend most particularly in the realm of education and economic growth.

 


3. Produce a collaborative report assessing the current extent of the dividend in various African countries. This report will outline, for each African country, the demographic trends, their implications for the country’s window of demographic opportunity, the country’s advance in the process of reaping a dividend. The final analyses are designed to estimate the magnitude of the dividend accrued so far, as well as future prospects and the potential contribution the demographic dividend to the economic emergence of these countries.

 

The evaluation conducted after the workshop shows that participants particularly appreciated the quality of the trainers and the 10-day length of the workshop, which allowed time to deepen their understanding of the methods.

 


As part of the workshop, the organizers held, on 20 September, a formal meeting with presentations to members of the Parliament belonging to the Burkina Faso Network on Population and Development, in which a dozen Burkinabe MPs took part.

 

Three presentations were made:
• Presentation of research conducted by CARE-IFA (Dr Crispin Mabika)

• General introduction to the demographic dividend (Prof. Parfait Eloundou)

• The experience of Burkina Faso (Prof. Jean-François Kobiané)

 

Using available statistical data, these presentations stressed the need for policy makers to play an active role in order for Burkina Faso – and African countries more generally – to benefit from the demographic dividend. Recommendations based on the case of Burkina Faso indicated that policies focusing on education, especially for girls, could help family planning; those focused on employment could help reduce economic dependency ratios and support economic growth.

 

 

See also:

Seminar report, programme and participant list (in French)

Report of the meeting with Burkinabe MPs (in French)

FraNet’s web page


Financial support: The IUSSP network for Strengthening Demographic Training in Francophone Africa is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

 

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