Economic Complexity and Employment Expansion in Africa
The long-run growth and development literature has found that for a pattern of structural transformation and inclusive growth to assert itself in an economy, two key inter-linked ingredients are required. Firstly, the move from a low productivity agricultural sector to a high productivity, high growth and export-oriented agricultural sector; and secondly, the development of a dynamic manufacturing sector which is both employment- and export intensive. The economic imperative of structural change is also increasingly important within the context of Africa’s expected future population growth. According to the UN World Population Division, Africa’s share of the working age population is expected to increase from 13.69% in 2015 to 42.55% by 2100. This policy brief provides a synthesis of four country case studies: Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa. By using a novel methodology through which we can examine structural change, we provide policy options which expand the economic opportunities of disenfranchised women and youth.