Africa’s working population to increase by 40% before 2030 – AFDB
Africa’s labor force is projected to increase by 40 percent before 2030 with only half of young people joining the labor market finding employment, which will be mainly in the informal sector, according to the African Economic Outlook report.
The lack of incentive to create jobs for Africa’s working-age population comes despite continent’s achievement of the fastest and most sustained growth spurts in the past two decades.
“A 1 percent increase in GDP growth over 2000–14 was associated with only 0.41 percent growth in employment, meaning that employment was expanding at a rate of less than 1.8 percent a year, or far below the nearly 3 percent annual growth in the labor force,” the report stated.
The report highlights that manufacturing-driven growth accelerations have the capability of creating jobs on a large scale,stimulate innovation and enhance productivity.
“Manufacturing-driven growth acceleration episodes increased total employment growth considerably and boosted employment elasticity by about 0.017 percentage point (or by 3 percent)—three times higher than effects of services-driven episodes (0.005 percentage point).
Furthermore, the AEO notes that Africa has the highest rate of informality in the world, estimated at 72 percent of nonagricultual employment and as high as 90 percent in some countries adding that there is no evidence that informality is declining in Africa.
according to the bank, without meaningful structural change, most of the jobs generated are likely to be in the informal sector, where productivity and wages are low and work is insecure, making the eradication of extreme poverty by 2030 a difficult task.
To revive Africa’s industrialization, the report suggests that governments must be committed to improving the climate that supports steady growth.
“Industrial policies could benefit from assessing production knowledge and identifying competitive products to inform the design of robust national and subnational industrial strategies,” the report stated.