Is catastrophe inevitable? Not necessarily. But experts say most of Africa — and other high-growth developing nations such as Afghanistan and Pakistan — will be hard-pressed to furnish enough food, water and jobs for their people, especially without major new family-planning initiatives.
"Extreme poverty and large families tend to reinforce each other," says Lester Brown, the environmental analyst who heads the Earth Policy Institute in Washington. "The challenge is to intervene in that cycle and accelerate the shift to smaller families."
The problem, of course, is accessibility to food and other resources, which is impeded by governmental corruption, not the higher birth rate. The agenda here is clear as daylight: more birth control on demand so that these countries will more closely mirror the dismal birth rates of Western countries.