Global fertility | Next head of WTO?

Posted by: The Conversation Global

Date: Thursday, 23 July 2020


When a recent report claiming the world would see “jaw-dropping” declines in global fertility was published last week, it raised eyebrows among some demographers. Predicting what will happen to population growth in the future is hard: there are different ways to do it and they come with large amounts of uncertainty. Brienna Perelli-Harris and Jason Hilton explain how such projections are made – and why we don’t need to start panicking just yet.

The early departure of the head of the World Trade Organisation, the body that deals with trade between nations, has created an opportunity for an African to take over. Africa is one of the key blocs within the WTO: it accounts for nearly 27% of membership. Yet an African has never run it. Mills Soko and Mzukisi Qobo make a case for why there’s no better candidate than former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Gemma Ware

Global Affairs Editor and Podcast Producer

Fertility rates: hard to predict. noBorders – Brayden Howie/Shutterstock

Is global fertility really plummeting? How population forecasts are made

Brienna Perelli-Harris, University of Southampton; Jason Hilton, University of Southampton

Why there's no need to panic over warning of 'jaw-dropping' fertility decline.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s global finance expertise would serve the WTO well given the nexus between trade and finance.

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Mills Soko, University of the Witwatersrand; Mzukisi Qobo, University of the Witwatersrand

Africa accounts for nearly 27% of the World Trade Organisation's membership and 35% of members from developing countries, but an African has never run it.

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