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Prince William Says African Population Pressures Affect Continent’s Wildlife Conservation Efforts, Critics Say Remarks are ‘Underpinned By Race and Class Prejudice’

Prince William is under fire after making a comment about population effects on wild habitats in Africa. Critics are saying the British royal has no standing to comment on the topic.

The second in line to the British throne made the comments at the Tusk Conservation Awards in London on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

He shared with the assembly that there is a growing hazard on the continent of Africa’s “wildlife and wild spaces as a result of human population” and that it was causing a “huge challenge for conservationists, as it does the world over.”

Britain’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid, (L), Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (C) and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick attend The Royal Foundation’s Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium in London. (Photo by Andrew Matthews / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Duke of Cambridge continued to say, “It is imperative that the natural world is protected not only for its contribution to our economies, jobs, and livelihoods but for the health, wellbeing, and future of humanity.”

This is not the first time that William has asserted what critics are calling his theory of population control. In 2017, he made very similar statements in a speech to the same Tusk Trust’s charity gala. 

“Africa’s rapidly growing human population is predicted to more than double by 2050 – a staggering increase of three and a half million people per month,” he noted.

“There is no question that this increase puts wildlife and habitat under enormous pressure. Urbanization, infrastructure development, cultivation – all good things in themselves, but they will have a terrible impact unless we begin to plan and to take measures now.”

William continued, “We are going to have to work much harder and think much deeper if we are to ensure that human beings and the other species of animal with which we share this planet can continue to co-exist.”

However, many have called him out for his targeting of Africa, when other continents like Europe and Asia have higher population density. A UK based journalist took to Twitter to break down some facts for the royal 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.”

She continued: “Asia population density: 100 per square kilometre Europe population density: 72.9 per square kilometre Africa population density: 36.4 per square kilometre Prince William, with two kids and another on the way: it is clear Africa are having too many children here”

Another Twitter follower urged William to pay closer attention to what Armstrong said was Europeans’ effect on the reduction of African wildlife. He said, “By far the greatest losses of wildlife in Africa occurred in the early 1900s when Europeans arrived with guns and hunted across the continent. To blame African civilians is to totally misunderstand African history.”

Dr. John Njenga Karugia, a lecturer and researcher at Goethe University of Frankfurt, equated Prince William’s opinion with “sewage.”

“Mr. William has no moral authority to say anything about Africa or about Africans and their lives,” He tweeted. He should spend his time reading good history books and raising his many children and spending time with his very huge family spread out across the world.

“As Equals” editor Eliza Anyangwe agrees with the critics. She blasts Williams’ remarks stating that this really boils down to race and gender.

“It should be obvious to all that panic about population growth in Black, Brown and Indigenous parts of the world is underpinned by race and class prejudice,” she writes. “It should be equally obvious that what every woman needs is the freedom to choose for herself if, when, and how many children she will have.”

“If despite years of talking about conservation Prince William has not considered that his concern for Africa’s wildlife could stigmatize Africa’s women, perhaps now is the time for him to do so,” she concludes.

There has been no formal remark from the office of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.


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