The 2017 Africa Competitiveness Report lays emphasis on workforce and productivity.


The 2017 recently released biennial report of The Africa Competitiveness Report highlights areas requiring policy action and investment that could place Africa on a more  solid foundation for sustainable growth and development most especially through quantity of productivity of human workforce. The Report is the result of a longstanding collaboration between the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank Group, and the World Economic Forum.

Competitiveness is defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity – and hence future prosperity – of a country. The biennial report comes at a time when growth in most of the region’s economies has been slowing despite a decade of sustained growth, and is likely to stagnate further in the absence of improvements in the core conditions for competitiveness.

The report major focused on the unemployment challenges faced by African continent. It clearly states that from all findings, it is very obvious that there is need to urgently address stagnating levels of competitiveness in the continent as it could cause mass human resources redundancies most especially in the continent’s industrial sector.

The report published on Thursday also states that stakeholders to that fact that the ability of Sub-Saharan Africa’s economies to generate enough jobs for its young and growing population rests on the successful implementation of urgent reforms to boost productivity.

More so, the clearly report reveals that Africa’s young, dynamic population does possess the potential to lead an economic revival in the region, backed by targeted long- and short-term reforms in key areas, the report finds. But the major challenge to the continent is a rapidly expanding population, which is set to add 450 million more to the labor force over the next two decades. And under current policies, only 100 million jobs look set to be created during this period.

Priority action areas for improved competitiveness include:

Short term:

# Increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and less bureaucracy

# Targeted support for vulnerable regions and/or populations in fragile countries

# Open trade policies to foster regional economic integration

# Prioritizing sector-specific reforms in labour-intensive sectors such as agri-business, construction and micro-enterprises

# Developing value-chain links to extractive sectors to encourage diversification in resource-rich countries

Long term:

# Greater adoption of technology

# Developing the right skills to remain competitive in a rapidly changing global economic landscape

# Strengthening institutions is a pre-condition to enable faster and more effective policy implementation; failure of implementation in the past has often been attributed to weak institutions

# Improved infrastructure, to enable greater levels of trade and business growth

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