London — Rapid population growth in some of Africa’s poorest countries could put future progress towards reducing global poverty and improving health at risk, according to a report by the philanthropic foundation of Bill Gates. Demographic trends show a billion people have lifted themselves out of poverty in the past 20 years, the report found, but swiftly expanding populations, particularly in parts of Africa, could halt the decline in the number of extremely poor people in the world — and it may even start to rise. "Population growth in Africa is a challenge," Gates told reporters in a phone briefing about the report’s findings. The report found that poverty in Africa is increasingly concentrated in a few countries, which also have among the fastest-growing populations in the world. By 2050, it projected, more than 40% of world’s extremely poor people will live in just two countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Nigeria. Asked about the best ways of tackling the grow...

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