Book Chapter

Increasing Employment Opportunities: Navigating Africa’s Complex Job Market

Chapter 2 of the Foresight Africa 2017 report, explores six overarching themes that provide opportunities for Africa to overcome its obstacles and spur inclusive growth. The themes are as follows: The tipping point: The youth bulge and the sub-Saharan African labor market. This article discusses the demographic dividend that has been touted as a potential source of growth for the African continent and its relatively young population. It also discusses the challenge of employment creation that can absorb the large cohort of youth that is set to enter sub Saharan Africa’s labor markets in the approaching decades. Science and the farm discusses the challenges of youth employment and agricultural modernization. Perceptions of unemployment in select African Countries talks about Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa being among the biggest economies in sub-Saharan Africa, also struggling with high unemployment, a challenge that may continue to grow as more and more of the youth begin to enter the workforce. The next article:Employment by sector, discusses the services sector which continues to absorb more and more jobs throughout the region, the employment makeup in African countries which varies substantially. Notably, though, is the lack of employees in the highly productive industrial sector, largely due to a lack of supply of workers or a nascent industrial sector. Skills for a changing world discusses the lack of technical skills and “workplace competencies” like teamwork and communication skills which are barriers for employers to fill open positions. Jobs and automation : How susceptible is Africa ? This article talks about the historical challenge of the automation of jobs in the developed world, both in Africa and elsewhere, where two-thirds of all jobs are susceptible to automation due to advancing technology.
Sub-Saharan African SMEs and the bottleneck of time. This short article talks about the 2017 Doing Business report, which publishes annual data on regulatory constraints for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The data in the graph explains the complexity of starting a business in Africa. Eliminating many of these obstacles could promote the growth of SMEs. The last article it titled: Growth of African SMEs and jobs will depend on technology uptake. The article discusses the information and communication technologies (ICTs) that are transforming Africa. Across the continent, new startup digital enterprises are emerging, while existing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly leveraging ICTs to expand. Intensified use of ICTs presents Africa’s SMEs with
opportunities in virtually every sector as well as room to create jobs.