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Human development in Africa

AEO 2017

This chapter presents human development in Africa and its close links to entrepreneurship. It highlights the importance of investing in people – including their health and nutrition, knowledge and skills, and decent jobs and livelihoods – in order to unlock entrepreneurial activity across the continent. It discusses strategic actions in achieving significant reduction in risks of future progress such as unemployment, inequality and vulnerability.

Advancement in human capabilities is central to development in two ways – first, as an integral part of advancing development (including poverty and inequality reduction), and second as a platform for promoting productivity and entrepreneurship. Given the potential for a virtuous circle of human development and economic growth, investments in education and skills, health and nutrition, and social protection are also investments in inclusive growth and entrepreneurial development. It is only with the support of a productive, skilled and entrepreneurial labour force that Africa will be able to harness its demographic dividend. Human development is about creating opportunities and building people’s capability for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The outlook is positive. There is a high degree of convergence in a shared agenda and associated political will across Africa’s leaders and their partners for prioritising human development to underpin entrepreneurship and economic growth. Moving forward together with innovative policies and programmes will help ensure the demographic dividend is unlocked and the objective of “leaving no one behind” across Africa is achieved.

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Press release

Unlock the potential of African entrepreneurs for accelerating Africa’s industrial transformation, says the African Economic Outlook 2017

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