AFRICA needs 11 million more doctors, nurses and teachers by 2030 to prevent a “social and economic disaster” that could propel millions to migrate, the UN said on Thursday.
It said the 11 million were needed to help the continent cope with a booming population, with the number of children set to increase by 170 million to 750 million in the next 13 years.
“We are at the most critical juncture for Africa’s children,” Leila Pakkala of the UNICEF said in a statement.
“Get it right, and we could … lift hundreds of millions out of extreme poverty, and contribute to enhanced prosperity, stability, and peace,” said Pakkala, who heads UNICEF operations in eastern and southern Africa.
The UN’s children agency attributed the boom in births to high fertility rates, a rising number of women of reproductive age and lower child mortality.
UNICEF said by the end of the century, one in two children worldwide will live in Africa.
If they reach working age both schooled and healthy, they could spur economic growth – but for that to happen, Pakkala said investment in education and health were badly needed.
UNICEF added that more schools must be built.
The UN agency said that teachers, doctors, midwives and health workers must be trained and encouraged to stay in their community rather than move to cities or abroad.

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