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Africa

Three ways to develop a global partnership against youth unemployment

Andrew Devenport's picture
Susan Ogwengo lives in Kibera, in Nairobi, Kenya. Two years ago she started up a children’s day care centre which has grown into a successful business, employing others and enabling parents to go to work safe in the knowledge that their children were well looked after.
 
But she didn’t do it on her own.
 

Africa should invest in people, not industries

Ravi Kanbur's picture

The current African commodity/resource booms raise the question of how to appropriately use the revenues gained. Professor Ravi Kanbur of Cornell University talks to the distributional dilemmas and the best way forward for these growing countries to achieve transformation. He argues that African countries should generate sustainable growth by investing in infrastructure and human capacity building and not in the light manufacturing industrial policies that have worked so well in East and South Asia. 

Weak labor market institutions and regulations hurt Nigerian workers

Abiodun Folawewo's picture

I have recently completed an analysis of the impact of institutions and regulatory frameworks on labour market outcomes in Nigeria, focusing on unemployment, employment and wage effects in the formal sector. I have found that Nigeria’s labour market institutions and regulatory framework negatively affect the quantity and quality of jobs, as well as employment, wages and productivity. Moreover, the institutional and regulatory framework covering workers’ rights, protection of the vulnerable workers, enforcement of minimum wages, and the provision of decent working conditions are weak.

The employment outlook for Nigeria

Olu Ajakaiye's picture

Nigeria has posted good growth numbers in recent years, but these have not translated into jobs. The government is aware of this challenge and has undertaken steps to improve the condition necessary for employment to improve. Key to this is the development of a downstream manufacturing capacity, benefitting from the country’s strong position in oil and gas. Professor Olu Ajakiye discusses the outlook for the country’s jobs market and the challenges it faces. 

Private sector and youth employment: the experience in Kenya

Ehud Gachugu's picture
To tackle Kenya’s youth employment challenges, successive governments have put in place a range of different interventions. But to date none have effectively engaged the private sector. The turning point came after the post-election violence experienced in 2007.  The private sector, under the umbrella of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), made a conscious decision to tackle youth unemployment - a project specifically aimed at giving the youth the skills they need to succeed. Now eight out of every 10 youth participating in the program end up engaging in gainful economic activities either as an employee or starting their own business.

Can Mozambique use its booming energy sector to create jobs?

Channing Arndt's picture
Despite a decade of strong economic growth, the rate of formal sector job creation in Mozambique has been weak. But what impact will the recent large investments in the country’s oil and gas sector have on the employment outlook? Channing Arndt from UNU-Wider argues that there will not be many direct jobs created as a result of this boom, especially past the first investment phase. But there is a great opportunity for jobs to be created in ancillary services and support sectors, as well as those benefitting from the overall improvement in the country’s infrastructure.

Bringing a jobs lens to value chains in Zambia

Sudha Bala Krishnan's picture
One of the biggest challenges in building a jobs programme is understanding why job growth is not happening. Take Zambia as an example. It has many of the fundamentals right. There is political stability and an economy that has grown by over 7% a year for more than a decade. It has wonderful natural resources, including abundant land and water, and it is rich in commodities, especially copper. It has attracted major international companies, such as Parmalat, Lafarge and Airtel that are selling their goods and services both domestically and regionally. And yet, the country still suffers from 62% poverty and job growth that is not keeping pace with population growth.
 
 

Moving up the garment industry’s global value chain

Paul Lister's picture

Many African countries are striving to move up the global value chain in the footsteps of countries like China and (more recently) Bangladesh. We asked Paul Lister – Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary, Associated British Foods (ABF) – how ABF and its subsidiaries determine where it will source goods. He says that in the end, efficiency is key.

Textiles in Bongooo Bazaar, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photo: Flickr @ dnevill (Dan Nevill)

The Dismal State of Numbers for Economic Governance in Africa

Morten Jerven's picture

A farmer in the Kibirichia area of Mount Keyna. Photo credit: Flickr @ciat | CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture

In 2010, Ghana announced that, thanks to a GDP revision, its GDP had almost doubled. In April 2014, an even larger increase in GDP, again thanks to a statistical revision, was announced by Nigeria, catapulting it into Africa’s largest economy, ahead of South Africa. How were these vast increases in wealth possible? I would argue that the huge jumps in GDP in Nigeria and Ghana were symptomatic of major gaps in Sub-Saharan Africa data that make it extremely difficult for statistical systems to capture economic trends and development – and thus for policy makers to shape an agenda for sustainable economic development.

Juggling Labor, Credit, and Crops in Zambia

Kelsey Jack's picture

Experimental harvest of provitamin A-enriched orange maize, Zambia, 2010. Photo credit: Flickr @CIMMYT

When one part of the local economy fails, it spills over into other parts of the economy. Maybe this isn't so surprising. However, recent research in Zambia highlights a less obvious link: farmers who can't get access to credit during the hungry season (January to March) increase their off-farm labor supply, drive down wages, and maybe even undermine their own agricultural yields.Fortunately, there is new evidence that providing consumption loans can help farmers invest in their own fields, and — we hope — boost their productivity.

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