Does John Vidal even read what he writes?

Back in the 1970s, family planning was high on their and western political agendas, but in the 1980s countries such as Ghana were treated by the IMF and Britain as laboratories for enforced economic reforms and debt programmes. Contraception and family-planning programmes, just beginning to have an effect, were sidelined. The free market economy pushed on Africa may have worked for the cocoa farm and gold field owners of Ghana, but there was far less money for health and education. The result was a rapidly growing, ill-educated, fast-breeding generation living in a technically richer but more unequal country where people knew how to save children dying at childbirth but were not able to look after their long-term interests.

Bastard IMF eh? Just forcing, forcing women to have large families!

So, how did it work out?

There seems to be a rule of thumb among educated Ghanaians that each generation has about half the number of children as their parents. Felicia had five children, and her children have two or three each.

Why, that\’s pretty much how it worked out in France pre-reliable and effective contraception, pretty much how it worked out in every nation as it grew richer in fact.

Bastard IMF, eh?

My annoyance comes mostly from the fact that he\’s got a great McGuffin here, a wonderful hook for his story (and I assume book) but it\’s spoiled by this sort of nonsense.

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