Wilson Center Expert Discusses Applying Lessons From Botswana To Address Demographic Shifts, Development In Western Sahel

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Emulating Botswana’s Approach to Reproductive Health Services Could Speed Development in the Sahel
Richard Cincotta, global fellow at the Wilson Center, discusses demographic patterns in Africa’s Western Sahel region, including its “youth bulge,” and examines lessons from Botswana, which has taken steps resulting in a different demographic pattern. Cincotta writes, “Botswana provides an example of a country that, over the past four decades, has succeeded in substantially reducing the frequency of adolescent pregnancy and early marriage, increase birth spacing, and vastly improving its level of girls’ educational attainment — aspects of development that generally drive improvements in child nutrition and survival, improve maternal health, and initiate a shift to a smaller average family size” (1/27).