Problems of family planning amongst Africans in Rhodesia
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Amongst current development problems facing Rhodesia that of a high rate of population growth must be regarded as one of the most fundamental in its effects on the immediate short-term and long-term economic and social welfare of a large proportion of the country’s population. Whereas most of the country’s other problems can be solved by means of judicious planning and institutional and political adjustment, the disabilities and strains imposed upon the economy by the prevailing demographic structure cannot be easily negotiated towards a rapid solution. Instead, demographic influences will retain a permanence, for the purposes of prospective economic policy, irrespective of the prevailing political order. For this reason the relative lack of effective attention that the population problem has received from policy makers is not only alarming for the country’s future economic prosperity but also requires some explanation. The purpose of this paper, therefore, will be to draw attention to Rhodesia’s present demographic structure, to relate its significance to the economic problems of unemployment and income distribution and to highlight a number of the factors that impede the promotion, adoption and effectiveness of a comprehensive family planning programme.