Africa can only take advantage of the demographic dividend through an economic transformation that ensures value addition to its raw materials, diversified economies based on each country’s competitive advantage, regional integration which promotes intra-African trade (currently standing at only 12%), and education, technical and vocational training which addresses the skills gap that many African countries are confronted with.
It was with this in mind that the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) set up the African Employers’ Taskforce on Employment and Employability to find an approach to job creation and inclusive growth in Africa. This Taskforce was set up in 2013 and was chaired by Jamal Belahrach of the CGEM of Morocco (Moroccan Employers). The Secretary of the taskforce was Frederick Muia, Senior Adviser for Africa at the IOE. It received strong support from African employers’ federations who strongly feel that the job crisis should be addressed at national, sub-regional and continental level. The Taskforce benefited from strong support of the ILO (Regional Office for Africa, Bureau for Employers’ Activities, Sectoral Activities Department, Enterprise Department and the Employment Policy Department). It also received support from Business Africa, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), ITUC Africa, the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), as well as Amine Tazzi Rifi of Mckinsey.
The priority given to job creation in Africa by African employers is very much in line with the needs of the continent and the African Union Ouagadougou Declaration on Employment and Poverty Alleviation and its Agenda 2063. Job creation also supports UN Sustainable Development Goal number eight which seeks to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. The Taskforce came up with a Blueprint for Jobs in Africa.
The Blueprint recommended the creation of a foundation to continue the reflection on job creation in the continent and mobilize funds to support private sector job creation efforts in Africa. This goal will be fulfilled by the Jobs for Africa Foundation. The mission of the Foundation shall be achieved by:
- Encouraging the development of specific national and regional roadmaps for employment and employability
- Following the implementation of national and regional roadmaps for employment and employability
- Building responsible and effective social dialogue for shared issues
- Helping to put in place concrete actions to fight against unemployment