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Faith in action

How religious organizations facilitate demographic change in West Africa

On behalf of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the Berlin Institute for Population and Development has investigated the role of religious authorities and organisations in 16 countries in West Africa in demographic-relevant fields such as gender justice, family planning and sexuality.

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Nowhere else in the world, population growth is as fast as in West Africa: It is estimated that by 2050, the population in West Africa will almost double from 402 million to 797 million people. That means: More people will compete for jobs, for good education, for health care or simply for vital goods. If governments in the region fail to give their people a perspective, many will never enjoy the chance to live a self-determined life. In this situation, hope for socio-demographic change may come, according to a new study, from actors who have long been seen as obstacles to family planning: religious organisations. Their representatives enjoy great trust in West Africa and their advice on sensitive issues such as the number of children a woman should have or on sexuality in general is important.

Check out the whole study here.


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Dr. Stefanie Brinkel

Dr. rer. pol

Director of the Regional Program Political Dialogue in West Africa +225 27 22 48 1800


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