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Accelerating Pakistan’s structural transformation

Siddharth Sharma's picture
Pakistanat100 Shaping the Future report
Photo: World Bank

This blog is part of a series that discusses findings from the [email protected]: Shaping the Future report, which identifies the changes necessary for Pakistan to become a strong upper middle-income country by the time it turns 100 years old in 2047. 

Structural transformation is central to how countries grow rich.

The movement of jobs from agriculture to manufacturing and service industries is the first stage of that transformation.

Then, within industries, a process of creative destruction helps weed out unproductive firms and gives rise to more efficient and innovative ones.

Of course, no two countries have the same growth path. But those that succeed at sustaining growth do so by moving resources to more productive areas and building firm capabilities.

Pakistan’s economy is shifting toward more highly skilled, modern and productive industries but the path is uneven and slow relative to global norms.

The economy is less agricultural, more urban and services-oriented than before. Traditional industrial clusters have started exporting new products, while new industries such as information, communications and technology (ICT) are emerging.

Relative to the historical norm for countries at similar levels of per capita GDP, while Pakistan’s agricultural sector is of typical size, its manufacturing sector is small, and the services sector large.

Africa’s youth need to be problem solvers, not part of the problem

Tatenda Magetsi's picture

The way schooling is mostly framed in Africa attracts people to employment especially conforming in few fields such as medicine, law, engineering, and accounting. There is little or no emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship. Noteworthy, these social dynamics have little to nothing to do with capital. With a mind that is taught only to obey the teacher, read books for regurgitation, pass examinations, graduate and look for employment subsequently (and call that a life’s success), Africa is just but a continent full of people whom a very few will make a cognitive difference and strike positive changes to our economies and countries for the better.

The journey toward preparing Tanzanian youth for the digital economy and the future of work

Alice Ahadi Magaka's picture

A lot of benefits will result from the digital economy if African youth are equipped with the digital skills they need. We can therefore enhance these digital skills to young people in the following ways:

Encourage the culture of study internships

It is a rare culture for young Tanzanians to seek for internships unless required by their learning institutions. By encouraging the culture   of seeking internships intentionally, it will add up as an advantage for youth to gain digital skills that otherwise wouldn’t be obtained. Through the culture of internships, students will also have a reflective time to redefine their career path and experience the work dynamics and define their own future works.

What happens when someone is unable to access health or education? These artworks confront these very questions

Juliana J Biondo's picture
Human Capital exhibition at the World Bank Group Visitor Center in Washington, DC. © Bassam Sebti/World Bank
Human Capital exhibition at the World Bank Group Visitor Center in Washington, DC. © Bassam Sebti/World Bank

What exactly is Human Capital? The phrase itself is only two words: “Capital” refers to an asset that improves one’s ability to be economically productive while “Human” refers to the individual as the very unit in which the asset comes. Taken together however, the phrase transforms to be about that which an individual human can harness within themselves to realize their full potential, and be the best contributor to society they can be. Human Capital is about the economic power which lays ready for realization inside every human; the ideas and talent imbued in every individual.

What can each individual harness to make the most for, and of themselves? This is the question that the contemporary visual art exhibition on view in the Gallery in the World Bank Group Visitor Center seeks to understand.

The World Bank believes that it is the health, knowledge, and skills which people accumulate through their lives that enable them to harness and realize their full potential as productive members of society. But, how can we ensure that every human being has access to those three things? What happens when someone is unable to access health, knowledge, skills - some, or all three? The artworks on view confront these very questions. 

Making Pakistan more equitable for all

Silvia Redaelli's picture
Between 2001 and 2015, approximately 32 million people were lifted out of poverty
Photo: World Bank

This blog is part of a series that discusses findings from the [email protected]: Shaping the Future report, which identifies the changes necessary for Pakistan to become a strong upper middle-income country by the time it turns 100 years old in 2047. 

In recent years, Pakistan has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty. Estimates based on the national poverty line, which was set at Rs3,030.3 per adult equivalent per month based on 2013-14 prices, show a consistent decline over the past two decades.
 
Between 2001 and 2015, approximately 32 million people were lifted out of poverty and the poverty rate was more than halved, going from 64 percent in 2001 to 24pc in 2015. However, a lot is yet to be done.

Not only because 2015 estimates show that approximately one in four Pakistani still does not have enough money to satisfy basic needs, but – even more alarming – progress has been far from equal when looking across the provinces, districts, cities, and rural areas.
 
While poverty declined at a fast pace in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and, to a lesser extent, in Punjab, progress was less positive in Sindh and Balochistan.
 
Within provinces, poverty has remained stubbornly high in Southern Punjab and Northern Sindh. Similarly, the pace of poverty reduction has been slower in rural areas compared to cities, where the risk of poverty is less than half compared to rural areas.

Inequalities in poverty levels and poverty reduction performance are compounded by substantial inequalities in access to and quality of basic services such as health, education, electricity, water, and sanitation.
 
Being born in one of the country’s lagging areas and/or in a poor family largely predetermines a child’s chances of escaping deprivation and realizing his or her full human capital potential in life.

Promote an enabling environment for youth employment and entrepreneurship in the digital economy

Daniel Athior Atem Manyuon's picture

A digital economy is an economy based on digital technologies. This is an economy based on an internet (New Economy) with main components of e-business infrastructure which includes hardware, software, telecoms, networks, and human capital; e-business which includes the process of conducting business using the computer-mediated networks; and r-commerce which involves a transfer of goods from a place to another online. By 2050, the African population is estimated to be at 1.3 billion people; of which 15 – 20 million will constitute well-educated youth. The youth will be either employed, underemployed or unemployed. The continent will face a challenge of creating jobs to such young African or else, the continent will remain at the threat of political instability in the coming years. In order to enhance the skills needed to prepare the youth for the digital economy and future, the following need to be undertaken.

Needed for African youth: Courses in software and web development, and increased computer literacy

Tlogang Otsile Ketumile Makgwanya Mosupye's picture

As our continent advances in the fields of technology, manufacturing, computer software and information, our economies become more digitized. Economic activities such as trade, financial systems, data and processes become more based in the digital economy. This transformation brings new opportunities to the continent, and we will need certain skills that will best optimize them. The youth of Africa needs be at the forefront of this because our generation will be one of the first to have most of its economic activities in the digital economy.


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