The INCLUDE team’s reading list: April 2022

Every month we share with our readers a curated reading list on inclusive development. This month, we are zooming in on Growth Sectors for Youth Employment, following the African Economic Research Consortium’s (AERC) Regional Policy Forum on March 28 on Work and Income for Young Women and Men in Africa.

Which economic sectors have the potential to significantly create employment for youth? To what extent can industrialisation achieve the same successes in sustained job growth in Africa as it has for Western countries? According to the World Bank Group, both in a recent issue of the Africa Development Forum Series and in the latest volume of Africa’s Pulse, industrialisation offers a viable path to job creation in Africa. Africa can exploit opportunities in global value chains by facilitating productivity growth and promoting competitiveness. A recent article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives confirms this view, emphasising African manufacturing has increased employment opportunities, but that large manufacturing firms have not managed to reach potential employment gains.

Naturally, the continent is not homogenous and every African country demands a context-specific examination of potential growth sectors. This much needed nuance is provided within the AERC’s policy notes, written as part of a project commissioned by INCLUDE with an aim to provide research evidence on the economic sectors with the highest multipliers and potential to create employment opportunities for young people. Findings from nine country case studies are summarised in this blog.

Lastly, an established strategy to create job opportunities is through entrepreneurship. To learn more, this podcast by Brookings ‘Foresight Africa’ explains the importance of micro, small, and medium enterprises in creating employment opportunities for youth in Lagos, Nigeria.

Stay tuned for more updates on growth sectors in the coming months – our work will continue, and there is a lot more to learn.

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