Harnessing the Demographic Dividend : The Future We Want for Zambia
This study report showed that Zambia can harness a sizeable demographic dividend. Zambia should adopt policies and prioritize investments aimed at accelerating fertility reduction through voluntary and rights based interventions and education to open the window to harnessing the demographic dividend. Additionally, Zambia has to make strategic investments in education and skills development, health, economic reforms and job creation. Zambia can, coupled with good governance and accountability, create a globally-competitive economy that would accelerate economic growth and thus earn her a substantial demographic dividend. Under the Economic Emphasis model, prioritizing economic reforms to the level of the benchmark countries would increase Zambia’s per capita GDP from the 2013 level of USD 1,839 to USD 5,197 in 2030. Should the country embark on moderate investments in family planning and education (moderate model), the per capita GDP would increase to USD 5,441 by 2030. In order for Zambia to harness the substantial demographic dividend modelled in this study, the country should facilitate voluntary fertility decline by enabling all women and men who would like to postpone or stop childbearing to access effective contraceptive methods to realize their reproductive rights.