Southern African countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland) had an estimated total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.6 children per woman in 2005-2010, about half the level of Eastern, Western, and Central Africa, excepting Rwanda, with a 25% fertility decline 2005-2010.What are the differences between countries that are recording steady fertility declines from those where fertility has been stagnant or even rising?42% could identify physical changes related to puberty, but only 8% could identify emotional changes linked with puberty.The author attributes this knowledge gap to parents not knowing or not discussing sexual rights information with their children.
The report also called for advocating that government policy include the addition of a culturally sensitive sexual and reproductive health and rights components in the school and college curricula, complete with teacher training, as needed.
The stalling fertility transitions across much of sub-Saharan Africa have motivated resulted in upward revisions in projections of Africa's population, directly affecting the resources that will be required to improve economic well-being, human capital, and social resilience among a young rapidly growing population.
The "demographic transition" is a long process, during which populations move from high fertility and high mortality rates; to a period of low mortality rates and high fertility; and then to both low fertility and low mortality rates, which creates the temporary economic opportunity for a "demographic dividend." Some countries have completed this transition very quickly while others have stalled.
Of the 22 countries included in the analysis, 10 recorded an annual fertility decline of at least 0.05 child per woman between the two most recent surveys and are considered to comprise the group in transition.
The report recommended parent counseling combined with gender separated peer programs in the schools, and additional support from the media.
The objective is to raise awareness concerning the emotional aspects of puberty, the legal rights of adolescents, the social protections available to them, complications and other consequences of pregnancy during adolescence, and misconceptions about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.