50 million to be jobless in Africa by 2040, report says

The report has predicted “catastrophic” consequences for the global economy, forecasting a shortfall of 50 million jobs on the continent alone. Image courtesy: Youth Village
The report has predicted “catastrophic” consequences for the global economy, forecasting a shortfall of 50 million jobs on the continent alone. Image courtesy: Youth Village
The report has predicted “catastrophic” consequences for the global economy, forecasting a shortfall of 50 million jobs on the continent alone. Image courtesy: Youth Village

Parts of Africa are at risk of facing a massive unemployment crisis by 2040, new research has found.

The report has predicted “catastrophic” consequences for the global economy, forecasting a shortfall of 50 million jobs on the continent alone.

According to the analysis by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, based on world bank data, the labour force in sub-saharan Africa will be 823 million by 2040, up from 395 million in 2015. However, total number of jobs is only expected to hit 773 million, it said, leaving 50 million people in Africa unemployed – according to the Guardian.

The report focuses on why some African countries, including large economies – with huge potential – like Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, have struggled to transform and generate growth that is inclusive for all their citizens.

Jim Murphy, former cabinet minister, now of the institute, said: “Unless action is taken, Africa is facing a shortfall of 50 million jobs by 2040. This should serve as a serious wake up call for all. This daunting figure will not only have profound consequences for the whole of Africa and its people, but the impact on the global economy could be catastrophic.”

The institute is backing calls for African governments and their international development partners to develop a strategy for inclusive economic growth, to create jobs – the Guardian reports.

“Prioritising inclusive growth is a smarter, more effective way to deliver the economic prosperity Africa needs,” said Murphy.

The institute is calling for “market-based sector development”, and argues that governments, supported by their development partners, should focus on developing sectors that show signs of strong economic potential for competitiveness and create jobs.

Taking on this approach, it said, could bring about benefits that were reaped by many East Asian countries, as well as Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius and currently, Ehiopia – when they too implemented that form of development.

For progress to take place, the report noted that it would take many years to develop sectors as to transform an entire economy. It highlighted Botswana, Ethiopia and Mauritius as case studies for countries that had made significant progress, due to political leaders working alongside stakeholders and development partners.

As an ever-increasing population seems to strain all resources, this latest report stands as a warning for the future, and as a cry for governments to carefully manage economic plans.