Policy highlights:

  • Despite sustained growth, Africa shows limited progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Africa’s economy grew 4.7% per year between 2000 and 2017, making it the world’s second fastest growing region. However, this has not translated into improved wellbeing.
  • Some ‘megatrends’ include: 1) emerging countries are taking up a larger share of the global economy, offering an opportunity to focus on new trading partners, 2) (digital) technology can improve production and service delivery, 3) urbanization brings opportunities, such as a market for domestic labour and consumption, and 4) climate change should be considered, hence, moving towards ‘green growth’ strategies is key.
  • However, African dynamics are diverse: 1) East Africa has benefited from higher and more resilient economic growth than the other regions thanks to a more diversified economy, 2) issues of underemployment remain prominent (especially among women and youth), although some northern and southern countries also face structural unemployment, and 3) poverty has fallen, but inequality is high (Southern Africa shows the highest level of income inequality).
  • Important key messages for policymakers include: 1) poverty can be better addressed by reducing inequality (if the Gini coefficient of African countries was equal to that of developing countries in Asia, an additional 130 million people would have been lifted out of poverty between 1990 and 2016), and 2) improving the availability of quality jobs is key. In line with current trends, the share of vulnerable employment in Africa will remain at 66% until 2022 and an estimated 282 million workers are now in vulnerable employment. Both social protection and quality employment can contribute to economic and social resilience.
Connected themes
Share this post

Related items

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.

Getting up to speed with inclusive development

The INCLUDE team’s reading list: March 2022 Every month we share with our readers a…

cairo-workers
Identifying Economic Sectors to Create Employment for Youth in Africa: key findings from selected country cases

Growth Sectors for Youth Employment (GSYE) is an African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) collaborative research…

John_maara_Photo_
Getting up to speed with inclusive development

Every month we share with our readers a curated reading list on inclusive development. Here you can find the list for January 2022