Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli has advised women in his country to set their ovaries free and bear more children as a way of boosting the economy into a regional powerhouse.
Magufuli has only two children.
According to Magufuli, countries like Nigeria, China, and India are prospering economically due to their large population.
“When you have a big population you build the economy. That’s why China’s economy is so huge,” he said.
“I know that those who like to block ovaries will complain about my remarks. Set your ovaries free, let them block theirs,” he told a crowd when he visited his home town of Chato.
This is not the first time Magufuli is urging women to give birth to many children. In September 2018, he called on Tanzanian women to stop using birth control methods because the country needs more people.
Magufuli further said people who resort to family planning are lazy. ‘They do not want to work hard and feed a large family and that is why they opt for birth control and end up with one or two children,’ he said.
In 2016, Magufuli urged women to throw away their birth control pills as his government had introduced free education, meaning parents do not have to worry about funds to educate their kids.
The irony of this situation is that the outspoken 59-year-old president and his wife Janet have only two children, Joseph and Jessica Magufuli.
Tanzania has 53 million people, with 49 percent of the population living on less than $2 (approximately Sh200) a day and on average, one Tanzanian woman has 5 children.
Opposition leaders in Tanzania have criticized Magufuli’s stance, saying the country’s already rapid population growth is a time bomb and his sentiments contradict the country’s health policy.