The All African Conference of Churches (AACC) has called upon African churches to tackle the issue of unsustainable population growth and challenges associated with population explosion in the Africa continent. A high-level webinar consultation on 9 July had convened ecumenical and ecclesial leaders, among others, who affirmed that churches in Africa must look into this issue as it is “central to the dignity of Africans”.
In a statement on World Population Day, AACC General Secretary Rev Dr Fidon Mwombeki declared that “unless the Church starts addressing the issue of population growth urgently and adequately, it will not be able to offer transformative accompaniment to its followers.”
Overpopulation has brought about mounting challenges of underdevelopment such as poor access to social services such as health and education; congested classrooms, and increasing number of street children, he said. In addition, Africa is not benefitting from a demographic dividend as the youths are too young to be working, coupled with the lack of job opportunities from worsening economic conditions, leaving many families destitute.
Rev Dr Mwombeki asked for the Church to “start debunking prevalent cultural and spiritual beliefs about multiplying and filling the earth”, emphasising “responsible parenthood” as part of Christians’ spiritual responsibility, even as he acknowledged that this would be difficult owing to “established theological teachings”.
“The AACC will work with churches in Africa by assisting them to develop an advocacy framework for engaging governments, as well as theological tools for inter-religious dialogue and engagement around sustainable population for sustainable development,” he added.