Sub-Saharan job growth lags behind population: IMF

By Addis Getachew

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) – The rate of growth of the economy in sub-Saharan Africa falls far short of being able to absorb the tens of millions of young people seeking jobs, says an IMF report.

The IMF on Friday unveiled a report titled "Regional Economic Outlook for Africa 2018" under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Africa in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

“The macroeconomic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa continues to strengthen,” the report said. “Growth is expected to increase from 2.7 percent in 2017 to 3.1 percent in 2018.”

The growth reflected, among other realities, continued steady growth in the global economy and higher commodity prices.

The report said although growth was expected by four percent in the medium term, it would be "too low to create the number of jobs needed to absorb anticipated new entrants into labor markets."

Papa N’Diaye, head of the IMF regional studies division, told Anadolu Agency that the growth rate needed to take in the new entrants into the workforce was much higher than the current growing economy in the sub-Saharan Africa.

Some 80 to 90 million in Africa people enter the labor market annually but only 10 million of them get employed, according to N’Diaye.

The report also mentions, though with little elaboration, the escalating trade tensions between and among the U.S., China, and the Eurozone as a factor that may negatively affect the growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

The continent, according to the report, needs to improve its policy frameworks, utilize technologies and increase capital flows in order to accelerate the economic growth.