Policy highlights:

  • This 2017 edition of African Economic Outlook looks at the potential role of entrepreneurs in supporting industrialization, which has returned to feature prominently on Africa’s economic policy agenda. This requires innovative strategies that: 1) go beyond sectoral approaches (beyond manufacturing), 2) include high-potential entrepreneurs (start-ups and small and medium-sized firms can complement the growth of large companies), and 3) promote ‘green industrialization’(in which peer learning could be critical).
  • To foster growth, policymakers should: 1) diversify exports, increase intra-Africa trade, and implement regional integration, 2) foster employment and entrepreneurship opportunities (e.g. by addressing informality, environmental sustainability and the challenges faced by specific populations like youth and women), 3) support businesses and foster innovation (e.g. by expanding access to electricity and financing, and improving institutional accountability), 4) design strategies that remove constraints on high-potential entrepreneurs e.g. by strengthening skills and supporting business clusters), and 5) evaluate policies and their impacts.
  • Investing in human development and capabilities is just as important, as: 1) an integral part of advancing development (including poverty and inequality reduction), and 2) a platform for promoting productivity and entrepreneurship. With the support of a productive, skilled and entrepreneurial labour force, Africa will be able to harness its demographic dividend. So far, eighteen African countries have achieved medium to high human development, and the share of people living in poverty is falling. However, progress is slow and uneven, and the largest human development gap due to inequality can be found in West Africa. The SDGs, Agenda 2063 and African Development Bank’s High 5s can help accelerate human development.

Related items

Digital Skills for Youth Employment in Africa

Digitalisation and technological advancements are changing the world of work and the skills needed for employment. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone an estimated 230 million jobs will require digital skills within the next decade offering employment opportunities for its ever growing youth population. However, young people in Africa face several barriers that prevent them to obtain the types of skills required for employment. The evidence synthesis paper published by INCLUDE explores the challenges and opportunities of this digital transformation and presents recommendations of how to equip Africa’s youth for the future of work.

+2
By Ruth van de Velde +2 more
A decent proposal: self-employment for women in Uganda

This blog is part of a case study that examined decent work in the context of the work lives of self-employed and rural women in central Uganda in collaboration with 100WEEKS, a cash transfer graduation programme.

Six key insights for green jobs for youth in Africa

The African green transition has the potential to create a plurality of job opportunities that help tackle the negative consequences of climate change: green jobs. To find out what is needed to facilitate green jobs for young people in Africa, INCLUDE and Palladium engaged in a collaborative research project in the context of the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment.

Siri profile picture
youth at work 2 pager
Youth @ Work: 5 pathways for change

How to address the African missing job crisis through green and digital jobs, while assuring that none is left behind? INCLUDE's recently published evidence synthesis paper series provides a number of potential solutions: they were discussed in the webinar series Youth@Work, from which we present five key insights.

Maya Turolla Profile
AERC Regional Policy Forum summary

The AERC hosted a virtual Regional Policy Forum on 28 March 2022. The forum brought together key stakeholders who play important roles in shaping new research findings, paving new policy directions, and initiating innovative practices in the areas of youth and employment.