After making a remark concerning population effects on wild ecosystems in Africa, Prince William has come under fire. Critics argue that the British royal family has no authority to speak on the subject.
On Tuesday, Nov. 23, the second in line to the British throne made the remarks at the Tusk Conservation Awards in London.
He told the audience that the continent of Africa’s “fauna and wild areas” are becoming increasingly endangered as a result of human population growth, posing a “great challenge for conservationists, as it does around the world.”
“It is important that the natural world is conserved not merely for its contribution to our economies, jobs, and lives, but also for the health, wellness, and future of humanity,” the Duke of Cambridge stated.
This isn’t the first time William has stated what critics refer to as his population control theory. In a speech to the same Tusk Trust’s fundraising event in 2017, he made very identical sentiments.
“By 2050, Africa’s fast-rising human population is expected to more than double, a stunning growth of three and a half million people per month,” he said.
“There is no doubt that this rise places tremendous strain on wildlife and ecosystems. Urbanization, infrastructure development, and agriculture are all desirable things in and of themselves, but they will have disastrous consequences unless we start planning and taking measures now.”
“If we are to ensure that humans and the other species of animal with which we share this world can continue to coexist, we will have to work much harder and think much deeper,” William continued.
Many have criticized him for focusing on Africa when other continents, such as Europe and Asia, have higher population densities. A journalist from the United Kingdom took to Twitter to dissect some facts for the king to consider.
She tweeted, “Africa isn’t even in the top two most populated continents – it’s Asia, then (surprise, surprise) EUROPE. The UK is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Prince William needs to mind his own rarted business and take his neo-colonial mindset elsewhere.”
“Asian population density: 100 per square kilometer,” she continued. The population density in Europe is 72.9 people per square kilometer. The population density in Africa is 36.4 people per square kilometer. With two children and another on the way, Prince William has made it clear that Africa has far too many children.”
Another Twitter user asked William to pay more attention to what Armstrong described as Europeans’ impact on African wildlife extinction. “By far the most significant losses of wildlife in Africa occurred in the early 1900s, when Europeans arrived with weapons and hunted across the continent,” he said. To blame African civilians is to have a complete lack of understanding of the continent’s history.”
Dr. John Njenga Karugia, a lecturer and researcher at Frankfurt’s Goethe University, compared Prince William’s viewpoint to “sewage.”
He tweeted, “Mr. William has no moral authority to speak about Africa or Africans and their life.” He should devote his time to reading good history books, raising his numerous offspring, and spending time with his large family scattered throughout the globe.
Eliza Anyangwe, editor of “As Equals,” agrees with the critics. She slams Williams’ comments, claiming that it’s all about race and gender.
“It should be evident to all that race and class bias underpins worry over population growth in Black, Brown, and Indigenous portions of the world,” she says. “It should also be self-evident that every woman requires the freedom to decide whether, when, and how many children she will have.”
“If Prince William has not considered that his passion for Africa’s wildlife may stigmatize Africa’s women despite years of preaching about conservation, perhaps now is the moment for him to do so,” she concludes.
The office of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, has made no public statement.