The World Bank has advised Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African (SSA) nations to implement cost-effective private sector reforms, ensure consistent policy enforcement for businesses of all sizes, and align regulations with regional trade partners. These steps are crucial to combat slowing economic growth and foster job creation.
Furthermore, the World Bank recommends that governments in the SSA region identify and support the early-stage growth of enterprises by adopting more inclusive procurement practices and promoting local businesses abroad. This approach aims to enhance human capital development.
These recommendations are outlined in the latest Africa’s Pulse report by the World Bank, which also emphasizes the importance of investing in education to boost semi-skilled jobs in the region.
The report highlights that the region’s most impoverished and vulnerable individuals continue to suffer the consequences of economic slowdown, including slow poverty reduction and limited job opportunities.
Despite Africa accounting for 12% of the global working-age population, sub-Saharan Africa possesses only 2% of the world’s capital stock, according to the report. The lack of capital is cited as a hindrance to the required structural transformation for creating quality jobs.
The World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Andrew Dabalen, underscores the urgency of transforming economies to provide better job opportunities, especially with up to 12 million young Africans entering the labor market annually. Current growth rates are insufficient to generate adequate high-quality jobs, leaving many young people underemployed or engaged in unstable work.
Nicholas Woolley, a World Bank Economist and contributor to the report, stresses the importance of addressing job challenges in the SSA region. He emphasizes the need for an ecosystem supporting private sector development, firm growth, and skill development that matches business demand.
The World Bank report also calls for improvements in learning within schools and vocational education to address underemployment and the needs of those who missed out on education during childhood. Additionally, the report recognizes that educating girls and providing women access to employment can reduce potential productivity losses due to the misallocation of female labor.