Stakeholders at the 6th Africa Social Partners Summit Organised by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and hosted by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) in Lagos, yesterday lamented how Nigeria and other nation’s of Africa would be sitting on a keg of gun powder if they fail to deploy their population positively.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO), Assistant Director General and Regional Director for Africa, Ms Cynthia Samuel – Olonjunwon, in her remarks said for countries in Africa to be able to implement their socio-economic transformation agenda, the number of productive jobs in the continent would have to increase by over 300 million or some 26 million per year until 2030.
According to her, this would be more than doubling the existing productive jobs to reach 579 million by 2030.
She said, “Around half of these – 13 million per year would need to be in the form of new jobs to provide productive employment for the large number of new entrants into the labour market each year. “This would mean, in practice almost trebling the current annual growth of productive jobs of 9.5 million per year to over 26 million per year until 2030.”
Noting the importance of the summit themed, “Towards the socio-economic transformation of Africa through job creation: the role of social partners”, the ILO Director stated that the theme aligned with ILO priority of addressing Africa challenges of creating decent jobs for Africa’s fast growing population, especially for young people under 25 years which constitute over 60 percent of the population.
She reasoned that in spite of African Development Bank’s recently published African Economic Outlook for 2020 that economic growth will pick up to 3.9 percent by the end of the year and will reach 4.1 percent in 2021, the fact that another world Economic Outlook reported that the number of people in extreme working poverty will increase from 141.6 million in 2020 to 142.3 million in 2021 should be given serious consideration.