Report unveils key factors for successful job creation in Africa

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and NKC African Economics (an Oxford Economics company) launched today a joint report on “Best Practices in Job Creation, lessons from Africa.”

Fifteen African countries and 34 employment initiatives were covered as part of this study. They included Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Tunisia.

“This report is the first result of the collaboration between the ECA Office for North Africa and NKC African economics. Through this document, we are sharing successful job creation policies with the hope that they will provide insights and learning for other countries across the region”, said Amal Elbeshbishi, Economic Affairs Officer in charge of employment at the ECA Office for North Africa.

This new report reveals that “a focus on skills development and education not only improves employability, but also provides the youth with the tools needed to be successful in entrepreneurship endeavours. Meanwhile, fiscal pressures have intensified following the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will become increasingly imperative [for governments] to partner with the private sector to implement employment creation initiatives”, according to Cobus de Hart, Head of Consulting at NKC African Economics.

Key findings from the report on “Best Practices in Job Creation, lessons from Africa” include:

  • The importance of improving youth employability and female labour participation. Such policies allowed countries to target the heart of the unemployment issue since youths account for a significant share of Africa’s unemployed.


  • Aligning public sector employment objectives and private sector business objectives is a key success factor. Leveraging private sector resources by providing training incentives or by collaborating in public-private partnerships in formulating and implementing employment initiatives markedly boost the chances of success.


  • Agriculture and education remain a key focus of job creation initiatives carried out across Africa. The agricultural sector still offers immense potential if informal and artisanal activities can be upskilled and commercialised, thanks to interventions on education and skills development.

In addition to generating jobs, initiatives targeting the manufacturing sector including through the generation of the necessary skills will play a central role in diversifying economies and allowing countries to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), according to the new report.

The report also identifies a number of success drivers such as:

  • The use of incentives for skills development to help address the mismatch between the demand and supply of skills
  • Focusing job creation efforts to incorporate entire value chains
  • Targeting smaller enterprises, who play a key role in job creation and productivity growth
  • Promoting joint enterprises between government and private companies (public-private partnerships)
  • Partnerships, public investments, investment promotion, improved access to credit and fiscal incentives

One of the five regional commissions of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Economic Commission for Africa supports Africa’s economic and social development, fosters regional integration and promotes international cooperation in support to regional development through research and technical support to governments.

NKC African Economics specialises in providing forecasts and insights for major African economies. The company’s services provide a comprehensive analysis of immediate and long-term prospects that will benefit organisations monitoring risks or opportunities for their operations or investments in the continent.