Pathways to Inclusive Growth: 5 Steps to Create Just Jobs in Africa

6 October 2014

A guide for African leaders and the international community on how to create good jobs in one of the world's most dynamic and rapidly evolving regions.

African countries over the last decade has fueled optimism that the continent is poised to join the ranks of its more developed counterparts, Asia and Latin America.1 Yet the quick gains in gross domestic product (GDP) have not led to shared prosperity or economic opportunity for many of the continent’s citizens, raising questions about the sustainability of Sub-Saharan Africa’s current growth trajectory.

Securing the continent’s success depends on promoting employment-intensive growth that not only leverages the productive potential of the African people, but also enables more people to benefit from an expanding economic pie.

Creating just jobs complete with appropriate remuneration, rights and economic mobility will help people in African countries raise their living standards and increase their consumption of products and services. In turn, rising aggregate demand will generate new opportunities to expand trade and investment with Africa and reinforce the continent’s integration into the global economy.

Many African leaders have recognized the need for more and better job creation, especially for youth.
Leaders must prioritize and act on this agenda by:

  1. Investing in infrastructure projects that pay dual dividends by generating direct employment in the short run while stimulating economic activity in the medium- and long-term
  2. Supporting private sector development by fostering the growth of small and medium enterprises
  3. Expanding labor-intensive manufacturing that offers opportunities for higher productivity employment
  4. Enhancing agricultural productivity and expanding rural non-farm activities that bridge agriculture and industrial development
  5. Developing South-South partnerships in skills developmen

The interventions discussed in this report reinforce one another, creating a virtuous circle of employment – based growth that is inclusive and sustainable.