The statistics are damning; even worse, they are corroborated with what you would find on the streets. The UK has the highest teenage birth and abortion rates in Western Europe but that is only half of the story. Virtually all reports and studies researched in the writing of this article state that females of African extraction have higher teenage birth rates than those of other racial groups.
Although the exact breakdown of teenage pregnancies by ethnicity is hard to obtain as it is not recorded at birth registration in the UK, it can be gleaned from census data and abortion rates.
A report found that black ethnic groups accounted for 9% of all under 18 abortions even though they represented just 3% of the entire population.
And this has become worrisome so much that the UK government has over the years stepped up efforts to increase sex eduction and contraceptive use among the black minority; which has been traditionally very low compared to other populations.
In 2006 UK government ministers asked council and health chiefs to target black and young females to the reduce the high rate of pregnancies amongst them. This was because, even when social deprivation was taken into account, black females were still over-represented in the numbers of teenage pregnancies across the nation.
This is not to say teenage pregnancies are something that only happens to African and Africans in the diaspora. All over the continent, this has rather been something that has resisted the feeble attempts of governments, civil societies and NGOs to reduce it. The reasons adduced for the failure to stem the tide remain the same; poverty, poor sex education and lack of access to contraceptives.
But these same reasons cannot be seen to suffice in the UK where there is plenteous sex education and read access to free contraceptives. So what could be the reason why Africans in the UK seen to want to turn the minority population statistic on its head, teenage and adult females included. Or why the sight of black teenage girls pushing buggies with their own children in them is such a all too common and not too surprising sight on the streets of UK town and cities.
The easiest thing would be to blame it on all on the breakdown in the family structure among African families in the diaspora. Sometimes it is really that simple.
When a family is transported and transplanted into a foreign land with dissimilar traditions and customs, it can easily rent whatever ties hold such a family together. And I have found, from personal experience I must add, if such ties are not re-strengthened by finding common ground for the family to reconnect on, the broken ties would remain broken.
That is what I think has and is still leading to broken marriages, absentee fathers and teenage pregnancies amongst Africans in the diaspora.
I could be wrong about all the above; I definitely wish I was wrong.