On the occasion of his visit to the International Labour Organization in Geneva on Thursday, November 22, African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka discussed job creation, sustainable development and the importance of education on the African continent.
In a speech before the members of the ILO's African Staff Association, Kaberuka noted that the question of job creation and sustainable employment was "the biggest challenge facing all African countries today.
With the new dynamism in African economies, Kaberuka underscored the need for strong institutions, good governance and support for fragile states as "the best way, to promote growth and jobs.
"I am fully aware that for growth to translate into jobs and incomes, deliberate policies are needed such as targeted safety nets to ensure no one is left behind," Kaberuka said.
"After decades of stagnation, Africa is on the verge of a new era," Kaberuka continued. "Despite the dark clouds in the global economy, the internal and external dynamics contain elements favourable to transformation, provided we get it right."
The Bank President also spelled out his vision for the sustainable development of Africa, saying that increasing agricultural productivity and ensuring African boys and girls have access to quality education are key to creating sustainable jobs on the continent.
Kaberuka also highlighted the need to create decent jobs that generate long-term income, by attracting manufacturing investment from Asia.
For his part, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder commended Kaberuka and the Bank for its work. "The respective mandates of our two organizations have much in common," said Ryder. "The ILO is dedicated to promoting economic growth with social justice through decent work, and the AfDB mandate is to contribute to sustainable economic development and social progress.
"We strongly believe in Africa's potential and the African Development Bank has a key role to play in shaping patterns of growth that can simultaneously yield decent and productive jobs nationally and regionally, while also influencing the global agenda where Africa's weight is felt in this respect," Ryder said.
If current trends continue, Sub-Saharan African countries, excluding South Africa, are expected to grow by 6.5 per cent in the coming year.