President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has urged African countries to ensure inclusive growth that will affect the lives of the citizens of the continent. He disclosed this at the 2020 African Economic Outlook when he said nobody eats Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
According to Adesina, growth must be seen and felt by the people. “Growth must be visible. Growth must be equitable. Growth must be felt in the lives of people,” he said.
In Africa, only 18 out of 48 African countries with data have inclusive growth, the outlook tagged ‘Developing Africa’s workforce for the future.’ stated.
African economy growing, not the citizens: The 2020 African Economic Outlook shows that the continent’s economies are growing well higher than the global average. The report projects a steady rise in growth in Africa from 3.4% in 2019 to 3.9% in 2020 and 4.1% in 2021.
In a statement seen by Nairametrics, AfDB said the robust economic growth is not reflecting in the lives of the poor in Africa. Meanwhile, despite some countries recording significant declines in extreme poverty and inequality, it is still higher than what is obtainable in other parts of the world.
AfDB said the mismatch between young workers’ skills and the needs of employers had also affected inclusive growth. The bank, therefore, suggested human capital development in African countries.
Invest in education: The bank advised improvement of access to education in remote areas, with incentives such as free uniforms and textbooks, banning child labour and improving teaching standards in order to better match skills with job opportunities. AfDB also said there should be a focus on rapidly emerging jobs in the private sector, including software engineers, marketing specialists, and data analysts.
Speaking on the essence of education, Hanan Morsy, Director of the Macroeconomic Policy, Forecasting and Research Department at the bank said, “Africa is blessed with resources, but its future lies in its people…education is the great equaliser. Only by developing our workforce will we make a dent in poverty, close the income gap between rich and poor, and adopt new technologies to create jobs in knowledge-intensive sectors.”