Media release: International Population Conference to be held in sub-Saharan Africa


Media release                                                                                                                                                                     6 September  2017

The world’s population scientists are set to tackle population and related issues as experts converge in Cape Town from 29 October to 4 November 2017 for the the International Population Conference – the first in the 88-year history of the conference to be held in sub-Saharan Africa.

Around 2,000 population scientists, policymakers, civic organisation and government leaders from around the world will assemble in Cape Town at the end of October to discuss the latest population research and debate pressing global and regional population issues.

Research on South Africa and the continent’s challenges of poverty, population, health, economic growth and recommend policy interventions to advance development in the region, are some of the issues to be discussed at the IPC. Also on the agenda are population and policy challenges in Africa, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, non-communicable diseases, health and mortality, the challenge of producing skills for a 21st century African labour force, and challenges in overcoming poverty, inequality and vulnerability.

About 4,572 submissions received from 131 countries are indicative of the wealth of knowledge that will be shared amongst the experts from different parts of the world. Organisations working in the population field will hold sessions as part of the regular scientific programme of the conference to highlight research conducted on population issues or supported by their institutions to the global community of leading population scholars and policy makers present at the conference.

South Africa’s Statistician-General, Dr Pali Lehohla, says the conference will help refocus the attention of political leaders on the continent to population and development issues. “Hosting the conference on sub-Saharan African soil will be an opportunity to re-energise the discourse of the role and integration of the population variables in national development agendas in the region,” says Dr Lehohla.

Dr Lehohla said the conference will strengthen demographic training in South Africa and offer international population scientists the opportunity to assess the results of the 2010 Round of Censuses, in which more than 40 African countries participated, and make recommendations that will benefit these countries.

“Addressing population dynamics and harnessing the demographic dividend are high on the development agenda in Africa,” said Dr Julita Onabanjo, Director of the UN Population Fund in East and Southern Africa, adding that the conference will help improve demographic outcomes of development efforts on the continent.

“The conference will greatly advance, strengthen and develop human capital in this field,” says Prof Olive Shisana, CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), host to the conference on behalf of the Republic of South Africa, is well renowned among the international statistics and demography fraternity following the successful hosting the of the International Statistics Institute (ISI) conference which also came to African shores for the first time in 2009 in Durban. Cape Town promises to offer delegates a relaxing ambience offered through its cultural diversity and majestic scenery.


Issued by Statistics South Africa

For technical enquiries contact:

Mr Calvin Molongoana

Project Director: International Population Conference


Tel: 012 310 3058


For media enquiries contact:

Ms Lesedi Dibakwane: Media and Public Relations

Tel: (012) 310 8578

Cell: 082 805 7088