Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 18, 2010 – African countries must prioritize the creation of decent jobs as central pillar of macro economic policy in order to attain the MDGs and eradicate poverty, according to the Economic Report on Africa (ERA) 2010.
The theme of this year’s report published by the UN-ECA and the African Union Commission is Promoting High-level Sustainable Growth to Reduce Unemployment in Africa.
The report argues that the current global economic crisis offers African countries an opportunity to lay the foundation for sustainable, employment intensive, high economic growth rates.
African long term growth prospect and ability to sustain high rates of employment generation and broader social development depend on success in economic diversification “ it said.
The report noted that unemployment and underemployment rates in Africa are high and continued to rise even during the period of rapid economic growth that came to an end with the global economic crisis in 2008.
Therefore , it said appropriate investment in infrastructure and human capital , renewed and creative efforts at domestic resource mobilization , factors market reform ,incentive to support private –sector employment and effort to increase productivity and incomes in the inform sector are needed to address unemployment.
ERA 2010 also monitor the performance of African economies and finds that GDP growth in Africa declined from 4.9 per cent in 2008 to 2.4 per cent in 2009 but is expected to grow by 4.8 per cent in 2010.
There were considerable regional variations in growth in 2009 across African regions and countries, the report said and adding East Africa posted healthy 4.3 percent, much higher than the earlier estimate of 3.9 percent.
The report stated that agricultural output is expected to decrease by 50 percent in Africa because of climate change.
The report said the costs of adaptation and mitigation are, however, extremely high and beyond the means of African countries.
As it is estimated the cost of adaptation could be anywhere between 5 to 10 per cent of continental GDP, the report underlined the importance of the international community support to finance the cost.