In recent years, many researchers and their findings have been related to the growth of industries and jobs in Africa. A continent with a 1. 3 billion population, showcases noteworthy trends in the pre-pandemic, pandemic, and post-pandemic eras. The journey of development reflects the existing potential of African talent and predicts the upcoming future growth in prospects.
In this article, we’ll look at the journey of various industries and their contribution to generating employment opportunities.
Diversity of the African workforce
For many years, a major share of the African workforce belonged to the agricultural sector. However, in the second decade of the 21st century, the continent witnessed persistent industrial growth. As a result, the diversity of the workforce also increased during these times.
In agriculture, the employed workforce’s yield is relatively less compared to industries. Conversely, people tend to acquire a wide skill set while working in industries or a corporate setup. Thus, the relationship between industries and the number of job opportunities is crucial. Development and expansion of industries create more employment. Meanwhile, local youth get the most benefit out of the interconnection between industrial growth and job creation.
The share of agriculture in employment distribution went from 53. 5% in 2011 to 50. 3% in 2021. Nonetheless, the industry sector displayed a 0. 9% increase in employment share. But the services sector displays better growth as it employs 36. 4% of the workforce. It is an indication of development as African youth diversify their skill set.
In the technology space itself, the developer community is scaling rapidly. With a population of 716k eminent developers in various domains, Africa has become a go-to place for companies to offer remote jobs to software developers.
Some ambitious professionals from the workforce community take the plunge to start their ventures. These start-ups, in turn, give youth access to an entrepreneurial setup while providing them with a job. The ‘Africa Developer Ecosystem 2021’ report pointed out that African start-ups received an investment of over $4 billion in 2021. Most of these start-ups belonged to the fintech domain. In our survey of jobs and industries, we also found that fintech companies provide the highest number of jobs. Almost 32% of the total job openings posted recently came from fintech companies.
Other sectors like logistics, energy, retail, healthcare, etc., are also on the rise. Companies operating in these sectors can be seen floating frequent advertisements to hire project managers in Africa. These sectors top the employment generation chart and account for 784 job openings. In contrast to previous years when the workforce was saturated into a few sectors, the new African workforce embraces diversity. From technology to managerial posts, international companies value African talent and seek a remote team in Africa.
How to support African businesses?
Businesses are job creators; they uplift society and open doors to intellectual and financial freedom. Africa needs more businesses in different industries to create employment opportunities for youth. The following are just a few critical factors that can support the growth of businesses:
- Improve the macroeconomics
Macroeconomics impacts both public and businesses drastically. Factors like inflation, foreign reserve, debt, etc., play an important role in the flourishment of the nation as a whole. Many African businesses have reported these issues as a hurdle to their success. However, these factors are in the control of governments to a certain extent. Thus, immediate efforts by the governments and other stakeholders can make the continent a better place for the growth of businesses.
- Political stability
Reports show that 40% of employers believe that political instability hinders the growth of their organization. The uncertain political conditions in countries like Egypt and Kenya prohibit businesses from expanding. Moreover, an unstable political environment affects the citizens who act as business consumers. Hence, countries need to improve their political stability so that enterprises can grow without any hindrance.
- Ample funding
2021 was a great year for African start-ups as they received 250% more funding than the previous year. Most of these funds, however, were limited to the high-level ventures who had access to better networks. Usually, small-scale businesses contribute effectively toward GDP growth. According to the African Trade Insurance Agency, small-scale businesses nearly account for 75% of employment generation. For them, funding is a persistent roadblock when it comes to expansion. Hence, the dispersion of funds and resources needs to be uniform at all levels.
Technology- A catalyst to industry growth and job opportunities
Businesses leverage the latest technologies to streamline their processes on a global scale. Tech has become a crucial part of various non-tech industries like hospitality, management, logistics, etc. Africa can become a global leader in delivering such technology solutions. There are different trajectories to accomplish this goal:
- Build technology businesses
There is hardly any part of the world where people are not using technology. More businesses need to be built around it when it has become an indispensable part of everyday life. Africa needs to increase businesses in the tech sector, too, to establish a significant global presence and provide opportunities for in-house talent.
- Create a pool of tech professionals
Any profession becomes popular amongst a population when there are ample opportunities. As discussed earlier, industries and enterprises create jobs. So, Africa needs to create a proficient pool of professionals to take tech companies forward. Countries can create dedicated skill-based learning programs. It will make the youth job-ready with the right skill set in the least amount of time.
- Integrate technology into other sectors
Technology makes the work easier in every aspect, time-saving and accuracy. Other enterprises shall incorporate technology into their routine workflow, except for the tech companies. Logistics, retail, and healthcare sectors are a few examples that have increased their productivity with the help of technology.
The continued development of industries and jobs on the continent is gradually taking shape. As companies like Gebeya go from start-up to full-scale, flourishing organizations, job seekers throughout Africa can access job opportunities. Gebeya’s mission is to connect talented professionals with start-ups, SMEs, and even multinational companies to deliver exceptional products and services. The marketplace is also driven to bring training and networking opportunities and resources to the continent, ensuring the region takes its rightful place in the transformation of the global workforce.