Islam has brought about Niger’s explosive birthrate, the country’s president has said.
Mahamadon Issoufou said: “Before Islam came, women used to be married at the age of eighteen but, due to a misreading of Islam, young women were having babies at the age of twelve or thirteen. But what does the Koran say? If an educated person reads the Koran, it talks about responsible parenthood. Islam says you should only have children if you can take good care of them and properly educate them.”
The president claims he has been slowly driving down the country’s birthrate of more than seven children per woman, the highest in the world.
The president says his efforts, in a country that is 98% Muslim, do not clash with those of the religious leaders.
With contraception becoming more widely available along with family planning education, the birthrate has started to drop, though more needs to be done says the president, before the population overwhelms Niger’s natural resources.
And the combination of declining resources and an extremely high birthrate across parts of Africa, thanks to the malign impact of Islam, will have a direct impact on European politics as migrants from sub-Saharan Africa continue to head towards Europe’s southern borders.
The president warned that his country – one of the poorest in the world – and wider region would be one of the main contributors to the predicted 230 million migrants worldwide by 2050.
Niger’s population alone was eight million in 1990 and reached 22.4 million in 2018 with many of them dreaming of a better life in the West, particularly Europe.