Can Niger break out of its cycle of poverty?

Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, but in the country with the highest birth rate in the world it’s on track to triple.

In Niger, women have an average of 7.6 children each – and in rural Zinder the rate is even higher.

Not surprisingly it’s more than just a statistic in almost every village you visit – there are kids everywhere.

Even the children have children – more than half the girls are married before the age of 15.

As economies grow and both countries and their people get richer, the number of babies being born naturally begins to fall, but Niger is also one of the world’s poorest countries.

« In Niger, we have a national characteristic which is pro-birth where having children is considered a traditional sign of wealth and power, » said Dr Hassane Atamo, head of the government’s family planning division.

« The immediate consequences of having such a high birth rate is that it’s impossible to feed, educate and care for all these children in the short term.

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