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Investing in Adolescent Girls to Defuse Nigeria's Demographic Timebomb : Spotlight 2 (英语)

As Nigeria enters a phase of rapid expansion of the working-age population, there is a window of opportunity to benefit from the “demographic dividend”—a period in which the share of those who are working starts to outnumber the share of young and old dependents, and the increase in labor supply boosts economic growth. However, Nigeria’s transition into this window of demographic opportunity has been sluggish. Nigeria’s persistently high fertility rates, especially in the northern regions and among adolescent girls, the poor, and those with low educational attainment, threaten to derail the demographic transition. Poverty, low prevalence of and demand for modern contraception, and lack of quality secondary schools and job market opportunities, all contribute to high rates of teenage pregnancy, early marriage, and low educational attainment among Nigeria’s adolescent girls. To reap the demographic dividend, Nigeria must kickstart the stalled demographic transition and ensure that the children of today have the means to grow into healthy and productive adults. On these fronts, Nigeria’s performance thus far has fared poorly compared to its structural and aspirational peers. Policy recommendations focus on ensuring adolescent girls remain in school longer, and are provided opportunities and services to enable their school-to-work transition.

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