Mawuna Remarque Koutonin

(GIN)–Togolese editor Mawuna Remarque Koutonin would like to make a few corrections in the widely held belief that Africa has a problem with overpopulation.

First of all, he says, if seeing is believing, then you must agree that Europe is wildly overpopulated, especially the western part.

“A small country like France has about the same population as the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is five times larger,” he begins. “The UK is smaller than Gabon, but has a population of more than 60 million inhabitants, compared to Gabon’s population of just over 1. 5 million.


“The worst example is a micro country like Belgium (167 times smaller than the Congo) which has a population of 11 million. That’s 365 people per km square, compared to the DRC’s rate of 30.”

Mr. Koutonin, the editor of, then wonders: “So how do they manage to feed themselves in a resourcepoor continent like Europe? Why do they have so many kids when Europe is already the only continent to send more than half a billion economic and political refugees to other richer places of the world during the last five centuries?” Cold weather and the resulting indoor activities might be to blame, he suggests.

“Considering that Europe’s an already overpopulated continent, it’s surprising that many European countries give incentives to families to make more babies,” he quips. And in underpopulated Africa, the continent is crowded with western overpopulation experts giving money to NGOs and governments to stop population growth.

Turning serious, he says: “It is only in Africa that we talk about having population reduction funded by western NGOs and governments. Is it because Africa does not have resources to feed 2 billion people? No. It’s because some other nations want those resources for their own people instead.”

Mr. Koutonin’s tongue-incheek commentary appeared this week in The Guardian online news outlet. In a biographical statement, which he could have written himself, Mr. Koutonin is described as “a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background.”