Women’s contributions to economic output and baseline economic welfare tend to be underestimated due the double injustice of unpaid care work and unpaid work. This double injustice denies women of the compensation, reward, recognition and upward income mobility that come with performing economic tasks – even when the output of those tasks is counted in official calculations. Most often, unpaid care work is neither formally counted as economic output, nor is it compensated. Instead, it is seen as women’s responsibility, due to their gender. This ultimately means that the immense amount of time, effort and skill women (and girls) put into the economy is invisible.
By Steven M. Radil, U.S. Air Force Academy, Olivier Walther, University of Florida, Nicholas Dorward, University of Bristol, Matthew Pflaum, University of Florida and Marie Trémolières, Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC), OECD
Political violence is moving away from cities in North and West Africa, even as urban populations continue to grow at an unprecedented pace in the region. More than half of the violent events observed in 2021 took place in rural areas, against 20% a decade ago. The emergence of Jihadist insurgencies in the Sahel and its southern peripheries explains this ruralisation of conflict that affects a growing number of civilians and border regions.
By Miishe Addy, co-Founder and CEO of Jetstream Africa, an e-logistics startup building digital infrastructure for African supply chains.
Growing up, I thought that the women in my family were remarkable. They had strong entrepreneurial instincts, and built businesses from scratch using only their intellect and the resources around them. My eldest aunt founded a thriving restaurant, spun off a catering business, and turned her car into a taxi service while she was at work. Her younger sister founded a crèche and scaled it up to a 200-student primary and secondary school. My great-grandmother, born in the late 1800s, was a self-made businesswoman in Accra and the breadwinner for her family.
By Dr. Sangu J. Delle, Chief Executive Officer, CarePoint and Executive Chairman, Golden Palm Investments Corporation
Africa is the world’s youngest continent, with a median age of 19.7 years. The size of the African population will grow from 1.3 billion people today to 2.5 billion in 2050, when 1 in 4 people will be African. Many scholars have debated whether these projections foretell a demographic dividend or a demographic disaster. The answer will lie in how the continent handles myriad challenges, including climate change, energy poverty, the food crisis, education, healthcare, conflicts and the continent’s massive infrastructure gap.
By Yeo Dossina, Head of Economic Policy and Research, African Union Commission, Arthur Minsat, Head of the OECD Development Centre’s Unit for Africa, Europe and Middle EastandRodrigo Deiana, Consultant, OECD Development Centre
Africa’s value chains hold the key to unlocking its productivity, deepening its economic integration, and strengthening its resilience to shocks. Yet regional value chains accounted for just 2.7% of Africa’s total value chain participation in 2019, compared to 26.4% in Latin America and the Caribbean and 42.9% in developing Asia according to the latest edition of Africa’s Development Dynamics, a joint report by the African Union Commission and the OECD Development Centre.
While the private sector across the world is on a journey towards greening their activities, COP26 marked a milestone so significant that it was termed the Business and Finance COP. In other words, COP26 made ‘climate action mainstream business’. But what challenges and opportunities does this newfound interest present for Africa?
Africa is a resource-rich continent, specialising in fuel, mineral and agricultural exports. Statistics on revealed comparative advantage (RCA) show that Africa exports proportionally more primary products than most other regions. Crude materials, which include ore, metal, wood, cotton and other raw textiles, are the continent’s dominant product category, followed by tobacco, various agricultural products and fuel. One consequence of specialising in primary product exports is that other countries get to enjoy the benefits of the value they add to these raw materials. These benefits can range from higher profits for their corporations to a more diversified industrial base and consequently better insulation from economic shocks, as well as a more highly skilled, higher-earning workforce.
By Anthony Black, Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town
With a large and growing middle class, Africa has huge potential as an automotive market. Vehicle ownership rates across the continent are low, at just 45 per 1 000 persons compared with a global rate of 203 per 1 000. Even more striking is the low level of production: the continent accounts for less than 1% of global vehicle output. Outside South Africa and Morocco, production is minimal: most small national markets are supplied by imports, consisting mainly of used cars shipped primarily from Europe, Japan and the US.
By Eyerusalem Siba, Economist and international expert in private sector development, spatial industrial policies and sustainable urbanisation
The Covid-19 pandemic and associated containment measures hit businesses hard, exposing them to record levels of uncertainty, disrupting value chains, and reversing countries’ hard-earned progress in economic and social development. The knock-on effects of these disruptions on GDP, foreign direct investment (FDI), trade and industrial production have been highest among globally integrated economies that have smaller domestic markets, rely heavily on vulnerable sectors and have limited capacity to adjust.