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L’emploi des jeunes en Afrique subsaharienne

Deon Filmer's picture
Also available in: English

Voici un peu moins de deux ans, j’ai copublié avec une équipe de la Banque mondiale le rapport intitulé L’emploi des jeunes en Afrique subsaharienne. Nous y traitions du décalage croissant entre les attentes de la jeunesse africaine et les réalités des marchés du travail et des mesures que les gouvernements devraient prendre pour y remédier. Sachant qu’au cours de la prochaine décennie, ce sont quelque 11 millions de jeunes Africains qui frapperont chaque année aux portes du marché du travail, les conclusions et les messages clés de ce rapport restent d’actualité.
 
Pluridimensionnel, le défi de l’emploi des jeunes ne peut être résolu en se contentant par exemple de multiplier les offres de formation (contrairement à ce que l’on entend souvent). Tout l’enjeu consiste à faire en sorte que les jeunes travailleurs (et les autres) gagnent un revenu décent, indépendamment de leur type d’activité. La jeunesse doit pouvoir s’appuyer sur des compétences solides — son capital humain — à apporter à son travail. Les agriculteurs, les entrepreneurs et les investisseurs ont besoin d’un environnement propice pour créer davantage de débouchés productifs. Les pouvoirs publics doivent s’atteler au problème de la qualité de l’enseignement de base et démanteler les obstacles à l’essor de l’agriculture, des entreprises individuelles et de l’activité manufacturière.

Youth employment in Africa: what policy makers can do

Deon Filmer's picture
Also available in: Français

Just under two years ago, I, along with a team from across the World Bank, co-authored a report, Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, which tackled the growing gap between the aspirations of African youth and the realities of the job markets and what governments should do about it. With an expected 11 million young Africans entering the labor market every year well into the next decade, the findings and main messages of the report remain relevant. 
 
Boosting youth employment is not a one-dimensional task that can be solved, for example, by merely increasing training opportunities—a frequently touted response. The key is to ensure that young people—and other workers—can earn a decent income in whatever work they do. Young people need strong foundational skills—human capital—to bring to their jobs; farm and business owners, entrepreneurs and investors need a conducive environment to create more productive opportunities. Governments must address the quality of basic education and remove obstacles that hinder progress in agriculture, household enterprises, and manufacturing. 

Créer des emplois de qualité pour les générations futures d’Ivoiriens

Jacques Morisset's picture
Also available in: English
La majorité de la population ivoirienne travaille, mais peine à trouver des emplois à des salaires convenables sur le long terme. Les Ivoiriens gagnent en moyenne 120 000 francs CFA, soit 200 dollars par mois, revenu inférieur à la moyenne du continent africain.


Firmin enchaîne les petits boulots. Vendeur de rue, menuisier, jardinier. Voilà deux ans qu'il est arrivé à Abidjan en provenance de son village natal avec l'aspiration d’intégrer l'École nationale de police d’Abidjan. Comme lui, des centaines de milliers de jeunes ivoiriens arrivent  chaque année sur le marché du travail. La Côte d’Ivoire compte aujourd'hui 14 millions de travailleurs et en aura 22 millions d’ici 10 ans. Il faudra leur offrir un emploi stable et un revenu décent. 

Creating Quality Jobs for Cote d’Ivoire’s Future Generations

Jacques Morisset's picture
Also available in: Français
Although most Ivorians are employed, they struggle to find jobs that provide decent sustainable incomes. An average worker earns 120,000 FCFA or $200 per month, which is lower than the average in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Firmin gets by doing small odd jobs. One day he is a street vendor, the next day a carpenter, and on other days he’s a gardener. He arrived in Abidjan two years ago with high hopes of joining the National Police Academy. His story resembles that of thousands of Ivorians who join the domestic workforce each year. Today, there are about 14 million people of age to work in the country, and by 2025, there will be approximately 22 million - all of whom seek a secure well-paying job. 

Big vs. small firms: one size does not fit all

Jacques Morisset's picture



Is bigger always better? Economists have long debated what size firms are more likely to drive business expansion and job creation. In industrial countries like the United States, small (young) firms contribute up to two-thirds of all net job creation and account for a predominant share of innovation. (Source: McKinsey, Restarting the US small-business growth engine, November 2012). In developing countries, evidence from Ethiopia, Ghana and Madagascar shows that the vast majority of small operators remain small, and so are unlikely to create many decent jobs over time [Source: World Bank, Youth Employment, 2014]. By contrast, ‘big’ enterprises are seen as the best providers of employment opportunities and new technologies.

The difference in role and performance of small firms in developing and industrial countries reflects to a large extent their owners’ characteristics. In the US, small firm owners are generally more educated and wealthier than the average worker, while the opposite is true in most developing countries. This point was emphasized by E. Duflo and A. Banerjee in their famous book ‘Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty’ (Penguin, 2011). Most business owners in developing countries are considered to be ‘reluctant’ entrepreneurs; essentially unskilled workers that are pushed into entrepreneurship for lack of other feasible options for employment.

This is also very much a reality in Tanzania where small business owners have few skills and limited financial and physical assets. Of the three million non-farm businesses operating in the country, almost 90% of business owners are confined in self-employment. Only 3% of business owners possess post-secondary level education. As a result, their businesses are generally small, informal, unspecialized, young and unproductive. They also tend to be extremely fragile with high exit rates, and operate sporadically during the year. Put simply, most small businesses are not well equipped to expand and become competitive.

Youth Employment—A Fundamental Challenge for African Economies

Deon Filmer's picture
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s sprawling capital, Mulu Warsa has found a formal-sector job as a factory worker thanks to her high school education. In Niamey, a city at the heart of the Sahel region, Mohamed Boubacar is a young apprentice training to be a carpenter. And in Sagrosa, a village in Kenya’s remote Tana Delta district, Felix Roa, who works on a family farm and runs a small shop, dreams of a better life if he can find the money to expand the business and move to a more urban area. His family is too poor to support him through secondary school.