As millions of African youth enter the job market, the number of jobs created each year is currently unable to keep the pace with the working age population. Helen Hai, CEO of Made in Africa Initiative and UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador, emphasized the urgent need to create opportunities for African youth through industrialization to support more inclusive economic growth across the continent.
In the latest Africa Investment Rising video spotlight, Ambassador Hai offered suggestions on three major steps that African countries should take to create jobs for the 10-12 million young people expected to enter the job market each year in Africa.
“Industrialization is the key pass to creating millions of jobs in Africa,” said Ambassador Hai, who has advised seven African countries on their industrialization strategy.
Hai pointed out that African countries need to leverage their industrial policies to attract more private sector investment and create employment to address the youth bulge in Africa. “China is relocating 85 million jobs, and Africa needs to capture this relocation opportunity,” she asserted.
She also identified the three things that African countries need to do to fully take advantage of the opportunity.
“First, you need to bring in manufacturing knowhow from China and other countries. Second, you need to bring in markets and buyers in order to export your products… Third, you need to understand your comparative advantage, which currently is competitive labor in Africa.”
She emphasized that by putting in place hard and soft infrastructures and setting up industrial zones, African countries can mobilize resources to create quick successes that may have a snowballing effect for their economic transformation.
Hai, who is an Advisor on IGD’s Advisory Council, will speak on the “Powering Industrialization to Drive Job Growth” panel at the upcoming IGD Spring Frontier 100 Forum, to be held on May 5-6, 2017 in Durban, South Africa.
>> Learn more about how IGD Spring Frontier 100 Forum will leverage Africa’s private sector for job creation and inclusive growth in Africa.
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