Sub-Saharan Africa’s Twin Jobs Challenge

30 Jun 2014 - 15:00
Brookings Blog Africa In Focus 27Jun2014

A new blog by DPRU Director Haroon Bhorat and Researcher Karmen Naidoo, has just been published via the Brookings Institution's Africa Growth Initiative, on Africa in Focus.

Africa faces the twin challenge of maximizing the pending opportunity of a demographic dividend while simultaneously reducing the number of working poor. Population growth rate projections for the next 15 years make it clear that the growth of the global workforce will be driven by Asia, Latin America and Africa. Of those regions, sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to have the fastest growth. Aside from the fast-growing working-age population, Africa’s jobs challenge is complicated by its current labor market landscape: The working poor—defined as those earning less than $2 a day—constitute almost two-thirds of the total employed. The important task is to identify the key drivers of inclusive growth that are critical to alleviating Africa’s twin jobs challenge: creating jobs for a rapidly growing working-age population in the future, and improving the incomes of the currently employed population.

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