10 February 2019

Africa: AfDB Says Pressure for Jobs to Intensify

Photo: New Times
(file photo).

Addis Ababa — Africa's working-age population is expected to rise from 705 million in 2018 to nearly 1 billion by 2030, leading to higher unemployment in the continent, according to new report published by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The African Economic Outlook 2019, which was launched on Friday on the margins of the 32nd African Union (AU) summit at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, said the African continent would add about 295 million new working-age population by the year 2030, pushing the continent's working-age population up by 40 per cent.

"As millions of young people join the labor market, the pressure to provide decent jobs will intensify," the report said.

At the current pace of labour force growth, the report said, the African continent "needs to create about 12 million new jobs every year to prevent unemployment from rising."

"If current trends continue, only half of new labor force entrants will find employment, and most of the jobs will be in the informal sector," the report said. "This implies that close to 100 million young people could be without jobs."

The report also stressed that the rapid growth achieved in Africa in the past two decades "has not been pro-employment."

Strong and sustained economic growth is necessary for generating employment, but that alone is not enough, the report said, stressing that the source and nature of growth also matter. The report said that after "tepid" real GDP growth of only 2.1 per cent in 2016, Africa's economy recovered with a 3.6 per cent growth in 2017 and a 3.5 per cent growth in 2018. (Xinhua)

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