Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development
by Josephine Osikena, Anna Owen and Deniz Ugur
'Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development' is a new Foreign Policy Centre report focused on employment expansion across Africa.
With a foreword provided by the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Donald Kaberuka, the publication represents the culmination of a series of roundtable discussions which took place in 2013/14 and were supported by the UK's development finance institution, CDC Group.
Africa has become one of the highest global growth regions, boasting 16 of the world's top 30 fastest growing economies. Yet almost 78 per cent of workers across Africa either work for themselves or engage in unpaid family work. This rate of vulnerable employment is the world's highest relative to other global regions.
Productive employment does more than simply provide incomes, improve livelihoods, support welfare, promote wellbeing and tackle poverty. Jobs, and more significantly good jobs, have a transformative ability to determine the structure and impact of economic growth on wider development. Yet, the growing buoyancy of African economies is undermined by their lack of structural diversity. This can be illustrated by a number of critical questions. Are ordinary people directly feeling the benefits of record economic growth rates across Africa? What impact are economic growth rates having on the nature and structure of employment across the continent? Is economic growth translating into the development of modern productive well integrated economic sectors? Essentially, is economic growth delivering broad-based structural transformation? Given Africa's growing demand for jobs, this report attempts to explore the pivotal role played by employment in deepening and widening economic growth across Africa.
This publication and its associated events form part of a wider project series being developed by the Foreign Policy Centre entitled: Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth. Additional supporters include Barclays and Nestlé.