Praising family planning and population control initiatives of Bangladesh, visiting Niger Minister for Population Rakiatou Christelle Kaffa Jackou yesterday said women are at the core of progress of the country.
They will adopt such initiatives involving women as the key policy to reduce population in six Sahel countries, including Niger, she said.
“What has impressed me most is that women in Bangladesh are centre of progress,” she said.
The Sahel is the eco-climatic and bio-geographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara Desert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south.
During a seven-day visit, high level delegates of Mauritania, Mali, Tchad, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Niger have been visiting Bangladesh since May 14.
The Niger minister was addressing a press conference organised to share their collective experience by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at a Dhaka hotel.
Document shows, the total fertility rate in Mali is 6.1 percent, Niger 7.6, Burkina Faso 6, Chad 6.4, Mauritania 4.2 and Ivory Coast 5. In Mali modern contraceptive use among women of reproductive age is 10 percent, Niger 12 percent, Burkina Faso 18 percent, Chad 6 percent, Mauritania 11.4 percent and Ivory Coast 18 percent.
Population of many of these countries will be doubled by 2030.
Following the footstep of Bangladesh, Christelle said they will set up factories to manufacture contraceptives and technical school to train girls of their countries to reduce population growth.
Imams [Islamic leaders] have been playing significant roles in reducing population growth of Bangladesh, she said, adding they will train Imams of their respective countries to face excessive population growth.
UNFPA's coordinator of West and Central Africa N'Guessan Justin Koffi and its Bangladesh representative Aregentina Matavel Piccin also addressed the press conference.