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Africa’s employment perspectives towards 2040 - 17-18.02.2020; Bonn, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Institution, the Center for Development Research at University of Bonn (ZEF), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as well as the international research and think tank networks GRECEST, Malabo-Montpellier Panel, PEGNet and T20 /Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the only world region where the number of poor people is still rising. The vast majority of the workforce is employed informally, often under precarious conditions. While many Asian countries have shown that such conditions can be overcome, it is unclear what could drive such structural transformation in SSA.

At the same time, international conditions for economic development are undergoing radical change. Some changes open up new opportunities, whereas others may lead to SSA falling even further behind. Potential game changers include cost-reducing digital technologies; Africa’s rapid urbanization and rising middle classes; increasing global demand for high-value agricultural products; decarbonization and the replacement of fossil resources with biomaterials; asset stranding in the oil & gas industries; new opportunities stemming from low-cost renewable energy supply in rural areas; China becoming a high-income country that sheds labor-intensive light industries; trade wars among the main economic blocs and increased trade integration within Africa, to name just a few.

The conference is a joint endeavor of DIE with the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Institution, the Center for Development Research at University of Bonn (ZEF), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as well as the international research and think tank networks GRECEST, Malabo-Montpellier Panel, PEGNet and T20 Africa.

Further reading  from UNCCD Library :

"Youth must be prepared for the jobs of the future – not the jobs of the past," African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina

The African Economic Outlook is an annual report that provides updates and forecasts of the continent's economic performance. The theme of the 2020 report is Developing Africa's 'Workforce for the Future.'

  • According to the report two-thirds of Africa's youth are either overeducated or undereducated. The undereducated share (nearly 55 percent) is considerably higher than in other regions (36 percent).
  • With 12 million graduates entering the labor market each year and only 3 million of them getting jobs, youth unemployment is rising annually. Youth unemployment must therefore be given top priority, participants heard.
  • The 2020 African Economic Outlook indicates that skill and education mismatches affect youth labor productivity indirectly through wages, job satisfaction, and job searching. Overeducated African youth earn, on average, 18 percent less than youth with the same level of education who work in jobs that match their education.
  • Also, youth who believe they are overskilled for jobs are 3.4 percent less likely to be satisfied with current jobs, and as a consequence may be less productive.

The report contains several recommendations for reversing negative trends and creating productive and adequate workforces.These include: designing national strategies for education and skills development that include young people, school dropouts, workers in the informal economy, and in economically and socially disadvantaged groups.