ILO Report Projects Unemployment Increase in Africa

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Addis Ababa,ENA, October 18/2019 The International Labor Organization (ILO) report released yesterday projected that the number of unemployed people in Africa will increase from 34 million in 2019 to 35.9 million in 2021.
ILO launched the global report in connection with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, an international observance celebrated on October 17 every year.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon said core to the promotion of pathways to decent work is the issue of poverty eradication.

The report, entitled “What Works: Promoting pathways to decent work”, stated that gainful employment remains the most reliable way of escaping poverty, but gaps in the availability of decent job opportunities hold back a number of men and women in the world of work.

The assistant director-general pointed out that lack of decent work opportunities continues to be a central challenge in emerging and developing economies, and particularly in Africa as evidenced by persistently high rates of underemployment and informality, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable groups of the population.

According to Samuel-Olonjuwon, ILO estimates show that the number of unemployed people has continued to rise.

She said more than 192 million people have remained unemployed in emerging and developing countries, while another 730 million are working but not earning enough to lift themselves out of poverty.

Employment growth, which is low, is expected to remain constant at 2.9 percent between 2019 and 2021; while labor productivity growth is projected to change only from 1.1 in 2019 to 1.4 percent in 2021.

Samuel-Olonjuwon stated that the barriers which limit access to decent work are of the utmost importance when it comes to designing appropriate policy measures.

She claimed that the global report launched has shown that combining income support with active support can contribute to overcoming the problems.

The report advises an integrated approach which can be effective under certain conditions, notably, sufficient resources, sufficient institutional capacity to administer the policies, and the full involvement of the social partners, workers’ and employers’ organizations as well as governments.