African growth too slow for expanding workforce - AfDB
ABIDJAN, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Africa's anticipated healthy
annual economic growth of about 4 percent in coming years will
still be too slow to create enough jobs for its fast-expanding
labour force, a regional loan body said on Thursday.
In its annual report on the continent's outlook, the African
Development Bank (AfDB) welcomed a gradual recovery from a 2016
trough that saw growth dwindle to 2.1 percent partly due to a
sharp drop in oil prices and drought.
The bank said growth was expected accelerate to 4 percent in
2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 from 3.5 percent in 2018.
But "projected medium-term growth of 4 percent is
insufficient to make a dent in unemployment and poverty," it
Africa's working-age population is projected to increase
about 40 percent from 705 million in 2018 to almost 1 billion by
2030, the report said, citing African Union data.
"Only half of new labour force entrants will find
employment, and most of the jobs will be in the informal sector.
This implies that close to 100 million young people could be
without jobs," it said.
Reversing a premature trend to de-industrialise will be key
to improving the outlook for job creation, it said.
"More needs to be done to encourage large companies to set
up businesses in Africa and to help small firms grow by removing
constraints such as poor infrastructure, political instability,
and corruption," it added.
(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Alessandra
Prentice; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
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