This Week: Africa Booms and Feasting Zooms

It’s a fact of life that the world grows and changes. While we may be used to just going with the flow, new data from the UN Population Division shows some drastic demographic changes throughout the world that will necessitate adaptations, and benefit from some foresight and planning.
The Washington Post tells the story through 9 charts of how Africa is going to boom in the next 90 years much the same way Asia did in the past, while countries like China and Europe will start to see a decrease in population and therefore less people to support the retired and youth.
 
Of large concern is whether Africa will be able to manage the governance and natural resource demands that such a large population increase will necessitate to prosper.

It will take the sort of trust that Steve Davenport talks about in his post about building relationships and feedback loops between citizens and service providers to make sure the growing population doesn’t boil over with unrest and frustration.

Predicted populations

Talking about resource management, Bill Gates recently reviewed the book Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken From Nature. While the whole post is worth reading, what jumped out to me was the video talking about our food waste. The US wastes 40% of the food it produces. FOURTY PERCENT! In addition to the fact that we are eating more meat, which means more crops to feed our livestock.

There's a better way, and the answer isn't in upping the portions at restaurants that I never seem to be able to finish.

If you can’t get enough of the population data, then you shouldn’t ignore UNHCR’s Historical Refugee Data, which displays the trends of registered Refugees since 1960.  The Economist also has some great charts on population changes from 1950 to projected 2050.

Hats off to the Strauss Center whose CCAPS Mapping Tool that combines climate change, conflict, governance and aid data for analysis won the Special Achievements in GIS (SAG) Award.

Weekly updates are written by Taryn Davis of Development Gateway; email her your tips for next week's update to get a shout-out in the post.