Last year Magufuli said curbing the birth rate was ‘for those too lazy to take care of their children’ [Sadi Said/Reuters]

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has urged women to “set your ovaries free” and bear more children as a way to help boost the economy into a regional powerhouse, a step critics said would instead worsen inequality and poverty.

“When you have a big population you build the economy. That’s why China’s economy is so huge,” Magufuli said late on Tuesday, citing India and Nigeria as other examples of countries that gained from a demographic dividend.

“I know that those who like to block ovaries will complain about my remarks. Set your ovaries free, let them block theirs,” he told a gathering in

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