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

Green jobs & the future of work in Africa: the story of Olivia Onyemaobi and Pad-Up Creations

In this video, we present the story of Olivia Onyemaobi, Nigerian entrepreneur and founder of Pad-Up Creations, a social enterprise producing affordable and eco-friendly sanitary pads in partnership with CFYE.

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.

By Ruth van de Velde +3 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