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Investment Needed to Treat TB in Miners and Their Communities
JOHANNESBURG, July 27, 2017—Tuberculosis (TB) still ranks as one the top five causes of death in Southern Africa, despite an overall decline between 1990 and 2013 in the number of deaths from the disease globally. TB is an infectious, bacterial disease that usually affects the lungs, and silicosis is a lung disease caused by inhaling mineral dust. Miners, most of whom work in close proximity to each other in confined spaces underground in southern Africa’s large, commercial mines for gold, copper, and other minerals, tend to have a higher prevalence of TB. The AIDS virus, which weakens the immune system, also plays a role in the risk of developing TB. Statistics from South Africa’s gold mines in suggest a TB rate of more than ten times the World Health Organization’s emergency threshold of 250/100,00—or about 2,500–3,000 diagnosed cases per 100,000 people. To make matters worse, it is thought that 70% of occupational TB cases go undetected. An estimated 500,000 miners currently work in South Africa, where the World Bank and others joined in the fight against TB are discussing initiatives to tackle it. Their meeting, Smart Investments in Health: Mining as a Catalyst for Building Sustainable Communities, brings together representatives from mining associations, as well as members of the private sector, governments, civil society, and academics. The focus of their work is built on previous initiatives to improve mining policy and legislation to help reduce miners’ exposure to TB infection and make sure they work and live in safer environments. “Coming out of this meeting, it is important to continue to explore the role of industry in complementing government efforts to increase basic health services in mining communities and incentivize investment in health and safety,” said Patrick Osewe, the World Bank’s Global Lead for Healthy Communities. Community development trusts are being considered as models for investing in initiatives against TB, as well as the use of technology and information management, and the separate roles social labor plans and corporate responsibility should play. “We hope this meeting will mobilize the resources required to deal with the effects of TB and dust-related diseases,” said Paul Noumba Um, the World Bank’s Country Director for Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. “And that it will galvanize lawmakers into bringing in legislation for the provision of occupational health services in their countries.” Some countries lack the regulations and institutions needed to adequately address the effects of mining on the health of miners and the communities around mines, with services especially limited for workers in artisanal and small-scale mines. The World Bank and the UK’s fund for international development, Dfid, have invested in mechanisms that could unlock more finance for the TB initiative, while the Global Fund has contributed US$30m for TB initiatives in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This is in addition to US$120m in World Bank support for four Southern African countries.  Many miners are migrant workers and so initiatives designed to help them include the harmonisation of TB management protocols to ensure they receive uninterrupted treatment for TB and medical referrals from one country to another. Other initiatives taken include training for 130 health workers from Southern Africa, a database of ex-mineworkers, the geospatial mapping of both mines and health services, and the tracking and tracing of unclaimed benefits for ex-mineworkers. 
Call for Smart Investments to Improve Health of Miners
Southern African Development Community explores ways to respond to occupational health JOHANNESBURG, July 26, 201—The health of miners in Southern Africa, their families, and their wider communities could be improved through smart investments in initiatives aimed at tackling occupational diseases, such as TB and Silicosis, members of groups attending a two-day meeting underway in South Africa have stated. Under the theme, Smart Investments in Health: Mining as a Catalyst for Building Sustainable Communities, associations of miners and ex-miners, as well as members of the private sector, governments and their development partners, and civil society are identifying priority interventions for further investment in occupational and public healthcare. The meeting is taking place amid a growing mining industry, with more countries discovering minerals. Studies in ten countries in the Southern African Development Community show, however, that most have not yet set up strong regulations and institutions to address the effects of mining on health in and around the mines. Mine workers, especially those in artisanal and small-scale mines, have limited access to occupational health services. And the communities living around mines are often also exposed to the same public and environmental health risks, such as TB and HIV infection, air and water pollution.  “Addressing a complex, 150 year-old, TB problem in mines requires a coordinated multi-sectoral and multi-country approach, and partnerships,” said Paul Noumba Um, World Bank Country Director for South Africa. “Various regional initiatives have been undertaken to fight this scourge in Southern Africa. Today, we are calling on partners to do more”. In the last five years, a significant amount of knowledge has been generated to understand the extent of this problem and enable countries to identify solutions. Countries have started initiatives to prevent TB infection, identify TB cases, and provide TB treatment services and occupational health services to current and ex-mineworkers. This is a critical initiative in a region where mineworkers have higher TB prevalence compared to general population. An estimated 500,000 mineworkers work in South Africa. Statistics suggest 2,500–3,000 diagnosed TB cases per 100,000 mineworkers in the gold mines, ten times the World Health Organization’s emergency threshold (of 250/100,000 people). An estimated 70% of occupational TB cases go undetected. ”We are beginning to see concrete action for addressing TB in the mining affected populations in the region. This is the start of a paradigm shift, but must be sustained and scaled-up for impact,” said, Suvanand Sahu, Deputy Executive Deputy Director of the Stop TB Partnership Secretariat. Some of the models for investing in occupational and public health being considered are community development trusts, social labor plans, and corporate social responsibility. “The implementation of these programs require considerable resources and mobilizing investment from various partners, including the private sector,” said Donald Denis Tobaiwa, Chair of the Regional Coordinating Mechanism of Southern Africa. This meeting is building on previous initiatives to improve mining policy and legislation. “We see a role for the private sector in providing financial resources to scale-up existing initiatives, such as the expansion of occupational TB services to key affected populations,” said Mark Edington, Head of Grant Management Division for the Global Fund. “The experience of the Global Fund has shown successful outcomes when partnering with the private sector to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria in other regions.”
Igualdade de Condições: Um Novo Atlas Transforma o Acesso aos Dados Jurídicos em África
WASHINGTON, 9 de Março de 2017 – É essencial um enquadramento legal abrangente para uma adequada governação do sector mineiro de África. Contudo, o acesso e o conhecimento das alterações legislativas em muitos países africanos não acompanharam o seu ritmo real. Vários países africanos esforçaram-se por adoptar ou rever os códigos mineiros, procurando informações comparativas e orientações sobre práticas de referência no processo, mas o vazio tornou-se óbvio: há uma falta de dados comparativos sobre leis da mineração e modelos padronizados adequados para a indústria mineira de África. Estas leis já são documentos públicos embora a acessibilidade a estes documentos esteja bloqueada, o que em grande medida se deve à falta de capacidade institucional e à escassez de formas para fornecer essas informações e dados. Em 2014 o Grupo Banco Mundial, em parceria com o Fundo Africano de Apoio Jurídico e a Comissão da União Africana lançou a AMLA. A AMLA visa catalisar a discussão em torno do desenvolvimento sustentável do sector mineiro de África através de três vias:A Plataforma AMLA é um balcão único online grátis, de informações sobre o enquadramento legal da mineração em África, incluindo códigos de mineração, regulamentos e legislação pertinente;O Programa de Formação AMLA centrado no reforço da capacidade na próxima geração de juristas de África; eO Modelo Orientador, um documento anotado concebido para assistir os países na preparação ou revisão das suas leis sobre mineração. Até à data, o projecto AMLA preparou 70 jovens africanos estudantes de direito, 36 homens e 34 mulheres, de 18 países. A AMLA está disponível em Inglês, Francês e Português e contém todos os 53 códigos de mineração africanos existentes, em formato pesquisável, bem como uma funcionalidade de comparação que permite aos utilizadores comparar as disposições legislativas dos 37 países relativamente aos 98 temas mais abordados no que toca a lei da mineração. Modelo Orientador da AMLA, uma Ferramenta para os Decisores No princípio deste ano, foi lançado um produto de conhecimento, o Modelo Orientador da AMLA, uma ferramenta online de referência grátis, que presta orientação sobre a elaboração ou avaliação de uma lei mineira baseada nas actuais realidades de África. Abrange mais de 200 tópicos, fornecendo (i) uma descrição detalhada do tema e (ii) um menu de uma amostra de disposições legislativas acompanhado de anotações para explicar o contexto, questões e aspectos úteis da língua em que são apresentadas. A reacção à AMLA e Modelo Orientador foi altamente positiva de toda a parte. Realizou-se um evento de lançamento em Mining Indaba, a maior conferência do mundo sobre investimento mineiro em África. Altas autoridades governamentais e Ministros das Minas de vários países africanos estiveram presentes e saudaram a AMLA como uma iniciativa muito necessária. “Acho que é a ferramenta que o Continente Africano há muito precisava” disse S.Exa. Lebohang Thotanyana, Ministro das Minas do Lesoto, que está actualmente a dirigir o processo de revisão da lei mineira do Lesoto. O Ministro declarou que o processo, que a sua equipa acabou de iniciar, será realizado de uma forma eficiente e transparente graças à Plataforma AMLA e ao Modelo Orientador. S.Exa. Fatima Haram Acyl, Comissária para o Comércio e Indústria da Comissão da União Africana afirmou que “África precisa de ferramentas que respondam e estejam alinhadas com os princípios da Visão para a Exploração Mineira em África da Agenda 2063. O Atlas da Legislação Africana em Matéria de Mineração é […] a única dessas ferramentas […] que responde à necessidade de haver leis abrangentes sobre recursos minerais e quadros regulamentares”.   Entre os presentes no lançamento e que usaram da palavra contam-se Christopher Stevens, Sócio Parceiro de Werkmans LLC e chefe de LexAfrica, e Nicola Woodroffe, Analista Legal do Instituto de Administração dos Recursos Naturais (NRGI). Ambos referiram os muitos benefícios que a AMLA proporciona às sociedades de advogados que representam os clientes, tanto do sector privado como do público. Um Futuro de Apropriação Africana Durante as fases de planeamento da AMLA ficou determinado que, em última instância, seria importante e adequado que uma entidade sedeada em África assumisse o controlo do projecto para garantir que havia um forte compromisso com a continuação da co-geração de conhecimento com fundamento nas realidades do sector mineiro africano. É neste espírito que o Banco Mundial começou a transferir a manutenção e actualização regular da plataforma AMLA e a coordenação do Programa de Formação para um secretariado no Fundo Africano de Apoio Jurídico, que é acolhido pelo Banco Africano de Desenvolvimento.
Leveling the Playing Field: A New Atlas Transforms Access to Legal Data in Africa
WASHINGTON, March 9, 2017 – A comprehensive legal framework is crucial for the proper governance of Africa’s mining sector. However, access to and knowledge of the evolving legislation of many African countries has not kept pace. A number of African countries have worked to adopt or revise their mining codes, seeking comparative information and guidance on benchmark practices in the process, the void has become obvious: there is an absence of comparative data on mining laws and suitable templates for the African mining industry. These laws are already public documents, yet their accessibility is stalled largely due to a lack of institutional capacity as well as a shortage of ways to deliver that information and data. In 2014 the World Bank Group, in partnership with the African Legal Support Facility and the African Union Commission, launched AMLA. The vision for AMLA is to catalyze discussion around the sustainable development of Africa’s mining sector through three avenues:The AMLA Platform, a free online one-stop resource for Africa's mining legal framework, including mining codes, regulations and related legislation;The AMLA Training Program, focused on strengthening the capacity of Africa’s next generation of lawyers; andThe Guiding Template, an annotated document designed to assist countries in the preparation or revision of their mining laws. To date, the AMLA project has trained 70 young African law students, 36 men and 34 women, from 18 countries. AMLA is available in English, French and Portuguese, and contains all 53 existing African mining codes in searchable format, as well as a comparison feature that allows users to compare the legislation provisions of 37 countries (and counting) across 98 commonly addressed topics in a mining law. AMLA Guiding Template, a Tool for Decision Makers Earlier this year a new knowledge product was launched, the AMLA Guiding Template, a free online reference tool that provides guidance on drafting or assessing a mining law based on Africa’s current realities. It covers over 200 topics, providing (i) a detailed description of the subject matter and (ii) a menu of legislation sample provisions with accompanying annotations to explain the context, issues and useful features of the presented language. Response to AMLA and the Guiding Template has been overwhelmingly positive from all corners. A launch event was held at Mining Indaba, the world’s largest conference on mining investment in Africa. Senior government officials and Mining ministers from several African countries attended the event and hailed AMLA as a much needed initiative. “I think this is the tool the African Continent has needed for quite some time,” said H.E. Lebohang Thotanyana, Lesotho’s Minister of Mines, who is currently leading the review process to revise Lesotho’s mining law. The Minister stated that the process his team has just embarked upon will now be carried out in a more efficient and transparent manner thanks to the AMLA Platform and Guiding Template. H.E. Fatima Haram Acyl, Commissioner for Trade and Industry with the African Union Commission said “Africa needs tools that respond to and are aligned with the principles of the Africa Mining Vision and aspirations of the Agenda 2063. The African Mining Legislation Atlas is […] is the only one of such tools […] that responds to the needs of having comprehensive mineral resources laws and regulatory frameworks.”   Others attending the launch event and speaking included Christopher Stevens, Partner at Werkmans LLC and head of LexAfrica, and Nicola Woodroffe, Legal Analyst with the Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI). Both expressed the many benefits AMLA offers law firms that represent both private and public sector clients. A Future of African Ownership During AMLA’s planning stages it was determined that ultimately it would be important and appropriate for an Africa-based entity to take over ownership of the project to ensure there was strong commitment to the co-generation of knowledge continues to occur grounded in the realities of Africa’s mining sector. It is in this spirit that the World Bank began transferring the maintenance and regular updating of the AMLA platform and coordination of the Training Program to a secretariat at the African Legal Support Facility, which is hosted by the African Development Bank.
Pour des règles du jeu équitables : un nouvel atlas transforme l’accès aux données juridiques en Afrique
WASHINGTON, le 9 mars 2017 – La bonne gouvernance du secteur minier en Afrique suppose l’existence d’un arsenal juridique sans faille. Or ce secteur a pâti jusqu’ici d’un manque de connaissances sur l’évolution des législations des pays africains. Une lacune devenue criante quand un certain nombre d’entre eux, au moment d’adopter ou d’amender leurs codes miniers, ont voulu s’appuyer sur des données comparatives ou des orientations quant à la façon de procéder. Bien que les législations minières soient disponibles dans le domaine public, elles ne sont guère accessibles dans les faits, faute de capacités institutionnelles et de moyens pour diffuser ce type d’informations et de données. C’est dans le but de combler ce vide que le Groupe de la Banque mondiale s’est associé à la Facilité africaine de soutien juridique et à la Commission de l’Union africaine pour lancer le projet « AMLA » (pour African Mining Legislation Atlas). Avec cet atlas des législations minières africaines, il s’agit de favoriser les échanges sur le développement durable du secteur des mines en Afrique par le biais de trois dispositifs :une plateforme de ressources en ligne qui fournit un accès gratuit et centralisé à l’encadrement juridique du secteur minier en Afrique (codes miniers, réglementations et législations des différents pays) ;un programme de formations (a) conçu pour renforcer les capacités de la prochaine génération de professionnels du droit africains ;un modèle cadre (a) qui consiste en un guide de rédaction juridique pour l’élaboration ou la révision des législations minières. Le projet AMLA a formé à ce jour 70  étudiants en droit (36 hommes et 34 femmes), originaires de 18 pays africains. La plateforme, disponible en anglais, en français et en portugais, renferme la totalité des 53 codes miniers existant actuellement en Afrique ainsi qu’un outil comparatif qui permet de mettre en parallèle les dispositions législatives de 37 pays sur les 98 sujets les plus courants du droit minier. Le modèle cadre de l’AMLA, un outil d’aide à la décision Le modèle cadre (a) lancé il y a quelques mois sur la plateforme AMLA est un outil de référence en ligne et gratuit qui propose des lignes directrices pour la rédaction d’une législation minière ou son évaluation au regard du contexte qui prévaut actuellement en Afrique. Il traite de plus de 200 aspects et fournit, pour chacun d’eux, une description détaillée ainsi qu’une sélection d’exemples de dispositions législatives accompagnées d’annotations contenant des éléments de contexte et des éclairages sur les problématiques éventuelles et les points à relever. Ce guide, et la plateforme AMLA plus généralement, ont reçu un accueil très favorable auprès de l’ensemble des acteurs concernés. Lors de l’inauguration officielle du projet organisé à l’occasion de la conférence Mining Indaba, le plus grand rendez-vous mondial consacré aux investissements miniers en Afrique, les hauts responsables et ministres des mines de plusieurs pays africains ont salué une initiative plus que nécessaire. À l’instar de Lebohang Thotanyana, ministre des Mines du Lesotho, qui voit dans l’AMLA « un instrument dont le continent africain a besoin depuis longtemps ». Selon le ministre lesothan, qui conduit le processus de révision de la législation minière récemment engagé par son pays, la plateforme et le modèle cadre fournis par l’AMLA vont permettre à son équipe d’œuvrer avec plus d’efficacité et de transparence. Pour la commissaire de l'Union africaine au Commerce et à l'Industrie, Fatima Haram Acyl, « l’Afrique a besoin d’instruments qui répondent et soient conformes aux principes de la Vision minière pour l’Afrique ainsi qu’aux aspirations de l’Agenda 2063 ». Et d’ajouter : « l’AMLA est le seul instrument de ce type disponible à ce jour […] qui vient répondre à la nécessité de disposer d’un arsenal complet de lois et de cadres règlementaires sur les ressources minières. »   Parmi les autres participants à cet événement, Christopher Stevens, associé dans le cabinet Werkmans et président de LEX Africa, et Nicola Woodroffe, spécialiste juridique au sein du Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI), ont tous deux mis en avant les nombreux bénéfices que l’AMLA procure aux cabinets d’avocats qui travaillent auprès de clients du secteur privé et du secteur public. Un projet ancré en Afrique                                                                           Au moment de la planification du projet, il avait été jugé important et pertinent de faire en sorte, qu’à terme, une instance basée en Afrique en assume la responsabilité, l’objectif étant de garantir un engagement vigoureux et d’assurer une production mutuelle de connaissances ancrée dans la réalité du secteur minier africain.     C’est dans cet esprit que la Banque mondiale a commencé à transférer l’entretien et l’actualisation régulière de la plateforme AMLA, ainsi que la coordination du programme de formations, à un secrétariat de la Facilité africaine de soutien juridique, elle-même placée sous l’égide de la Banque africaine de développement. Comme le souligne Sheila Khama, chef de service au pôle Énergie et industries extractives du Groupe de la Banque mondiale, « en transférant l’administration courante de la plateforme à la Facilité africaine de soutien juridique, qui relève de la Banque africaine de développement, la Banque mondiale contribue à valoriser les capacités de ses partenaires régionaux et à pérenniser le projet ».
概要 2015年のサブサハラ・アフリカの成長率は、主に石油をはじめとする商品価格の下落を反映し、2014年の4.5%を下回る4.1%となる見込みです。 金属その他の主要一次産品の輸出国では、一次産品価格の下落に伴い活動が鈍化する一方、ほとんどの低所得国では、インフラ投資と農業拡大により堅調な成長が続くと予想されています。非石油部門、特にサービス部門では成長が続き、2016年以降の成長率を押し上げると見られます。低位中所得国と高位中所得国では、公共投資の増大と観光業の回復により成長が促進されるでしょう。 詳細は2015年度年次報告書(PDF)をご覧ください。  活動 世界銀行グループは、アフリカ地域の経済成長と貧困削減、経済的多様化、また新たな包括的開発フレームワークに重点をおいて取り組みを行っています。 また、以下の分野に優先的に取り組んでいます。農業生産性の向上小農家に対する技術面や資金面での支援、アグリビジネスへの投資、水源管理、また気候変動に優しい農業を推進しています。エネルギーの確保安価で安定的かつ持続可能なエネルギーの供給の他、気候変動適応と防災が最重要課題です。地域統合地域間の連携を強め、経済の活性化と生産性の強化を図ります。都市化水、衛生、交通、住居、権力とガバナンスの管理が、都市化による生産性と収入向上の鍵となります。質の高い人的資本としての若年層の育成雇用のニーズと人材のギャップを埋めるべく、若年層の技術スキル向上支援を行っています。 詳細はアフリカ地域ページ(英語)をご覧ください。
Ramping up Nature-Based Tourism to Protect Biodiversity and Boost Livelihoods
A World Bank project in the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana is having an impact on the local economy while valuing wildlife at the same time, which are threatened by poaching and human-wildlife conflict. Over 150 young people received training in the tourism industry, nearly 100 of which are now gainfully employed in the field. By creating employment for local people in tourism they receive tangible economic benefits from the presence of wildlife alive, rather than dead.   The theme for this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, celebrated May 22, is biodiversity and sustainable tourism to coincide with the observance of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The program in the Okavango is proof that promoting biodiversity and economic growth through tourism is one way to reach win-win solutions for people and wildlife.   Over the past two years, the World Bank has ramped up efforts and reengaged in tourism through new initiatives due to a growing demand from countries to alleviate poverty through jobs and growth, while also protecting wildlife and conserving ecosystems. The tourism sector is expected to grow by 3.6% in 2017 and 3.9% per year globally over the next 10 years, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. In 2016, travel and tourism contributed $7.6 trillion, or 10.2%, to total GDP, and the industry provided jobs to one in 10 people. In developing countries that depend on their natural capital assets, the figures can be equally as impressive:A recent economic assessment of tourism in Kenya shows travel and tourism contribute 10.5% of GDP, and provide nearly 550,000 jobs. It shows wildlife tourism “not only generates greater economic growth than other forms of tourism, but also has potential to do more to address poverty challenges” because wildlife tourism is more pro-poor, due to its closer linkages with the rural economy. Nature-based tourism has been identified in the country’s development blueprint, Vision 2030.In Tanzania, home of the Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro, nature-based tourism accounts for about 10% of GDP.In Namibia, 19% of all employment (direct and indirect) has been attributed to nature-based tourism.In the Maldives, tourism is the major source of government revenue that finances health and education. "A big male elephant that tourists can come see over the course of its lifetime will generate more money and more benefit for people and the nation,” said Professor Lee White, Executive Secretary of Gabon’s National Parks Agency, in a recent interview with the Global Wildlife Program. White stressed the importance of garnering support for the presence of wildlife from local communities. Creating jobs is one way to do that. “It’s one thing fighting cross-border poachers who are coming to poach in Gabon but if you are fighting with the villagers living around the parks you are going to lose.” Client demand for nature-based tourism projects is growing According to a recent portfolio review, there are nearly 25 World Bank projects, totaling over $800 million, with a nature-based tourism component or activity. An additional seven projects with investments of more than $115 million are in the pipeline. “The review shows there are a lot of entry points and many small tourism components in projects, but most importantly it shows there are opportunities and the potential to do a lot more in nature-based tourism,” said World Bank Lead Economist Urvashi Narain. Nature-based tourism can be a significant source of income for local communities and rural households, who often live in marginal areas with few pathways out of poverty. However, Narain said the relationship between nature-based tourism and poverty reduction is not always straightforward. Local communities near protected areas sometimes carry a large share of the costs of protected areas in the form of restricted access to land and natural resources and crop damage due to raiding wildlife. The World Bank Group supports interventions that strengthen the linkages between nature-based tourism and poverty reduction. “You have to include the poor people living near protected areas in order to protect wildlife,” said Narain.  
Does Namibia’s Fiscal Policy Benefit the Poor and Reduce Inequality?
WINDHOEK, June 13, 2017 – The overall impact of Namibia’s fiscal policies kept another 118,000 Namibians out of poverty in 2009/10, according to a joint report by the Namibia Statistics Agency and World Bank. Does Fiscal Policy Benefit the Poor and Reduce Inequality in Namibia? explores whether the government is making the best possible use of its policies to reduce its high rates of poverty and inequality. It looks at this against the backdrop of high budget deficits—the result of increased government spending and declining receipts from the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU)—as well as against high unemployment, with GDP growth in recent years unaccompanied by significant job creation.
African Caucus: 2016 Cotonou Declaration
The African Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank met at Palais des Congres de Cotonou, Benin on the August 4-5 , 2016 for the African Caucus, chaired by Abdoulaye BIO TCHANE , Beninese Minister of State for Planning and Development, Chairman of the African Caucus. The discussions focused on the general theme “Scaling Up Bretton Woods Institutions Support to Address Shocks, Boost Growth and Enhance Transformation in Africa”.  The "Cotonou Declaration" is the outcome of the work of  ministers of Finance and/or Development of the 54 African countries, as well as the governors of central banks of the region.
Southern Africa's Working-Age Population Presents Potential for Growth
PRETORIA, September 19, 2016 – Southern Africa could improve incomes per capita, reduce poverty and increase growth in five of its countries through generating jobs for its increasing number of young workers by 2050, according to a recently released World Bank Group report. But this chance may be hindered by the regions’ already high unemployment rate, if not tackled. The report: Forever young? Social policies for a changing population in Southern Africa, illustrates how today’s social policies can be shaped to reap benefits presented by  the region’s changing population leading to wealthier and more productive future generations, fostering growth and equity. It explores conditions necessary for the region to take full advantage on its growing working-age population. “Southern Africa has a chance to break intergenerational poverty by promoting social services that invest in the potential of its people from a very young age and by putting its highest number of people to work through harnessing its most valuable resource -- having an increasing number of youth present in the next three decades,” said Guangzhe Chen, World Bank Group Country Director for Southern Africa.But this is particularly challenging in an environment that is already plagued by very high joblessness”. The study which focuses on Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland shows that more of the population in these five countries will be of working-age by 2050. It argues that with fewer dependents per worker, fiscal resources will be freed for the promotion of human development and the employment of younger generations and that good social policies can help generate a virtuous cycles of equity and productivity. Between now and 2050, the working-age population in Botswana will increase by 29 percent, Lesotho by 36 percent, 53 percent in Namibia, and 43 percent in Swaziland. In South Africa the figure will be lower, 28 percent, yet representing an increase of almost 10 million people. By comparison, the report notes that the age structure in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa will hardly have changed since 1950. To reap the advantage of this transition, Southern Africa will need to generate jobs for its increasing working-age population, and ensure that potential workers are equipped with the necessary skills and instruments to match the demand for labor. If this does not happen, the transition will add further pressure to already fragile labor markets: unemployment is already high in the region, reaching a staggering 47% among youth. Just to hold current low employment rates constant, Botswana will need to create an additional 340,000 jobs, Lesotho 400,000, Namibia 580,000, South Africa 7.1 million, and Swaziland 250,000. In addition, the region will at the same time need to bolster the employability of the millions of working-age population that have already completed their education, but lack the skills to work in a sophisticated and growing global economy, with continuous and remedial education, labor insertion programs and social assistance. The report recommends adjusting social policies to be inclusive and tailoring them towards promoting the human development of younger generations so that when the ratio of working age population peaks to about 70% percent in 2050, these young workers are adequately prepared for jobs that the economy requires to grow.  It recommends upgrading the quality of education through all the stages of education from early childhood development to basic and tertiary school which will make this workforce better equipped for skilled jobs in the future. The report finds that overall, Southern Africa’s generous social assistance systems which have higher fiscal allocations compared to most emerging economies, are mainly geared towards a “protection” role, with the bias towards the elderly. It argues that, they will need to shift to serve a dual objective of protecting the poor and vulnerable from shocks and promoting the human development of the population. This would lead to children that are more likely to be healthy and educated and to grow up to be productive adults. These productive and educated adults in turn will be more likely to raise healthy and educated children, thereby creating a sustainable intergenerational virtuous cycle that would increase incomes per capita, reduce poverty and increase growth. “Our research shows that a growing, well-educated labor force that is supported by efficient services during all stages in life can set countries on an inclusive and sustained growth path during this window of demographic opportunity. But if policies fail to change, a poorly skilled and unemployed workforce will likely be left to perpetuate the vicious cycle of poverty and inequality, ” said Lucilla Bruni, World Bank economist working on social protection and labor issues and one of the authors of the report. The study conducted simulation exercises which show that improving educational attainment could raise GDP per capita in 2050 in Swaziland and Lesotho by as much as 18 percent more than if current policies continue. They also show that raising employment ratios up to OECD levels could make South Africa’s GDP per capita quadruple rather than triple in the same time period. In Botswana, policies that stimulate higher productivity through better-quality education and technology could increase per capita income 14 percent more than in the business-as-usual scenario. Simulations also suggest that inclusive growth policies complement each other and that simultaneous implementation could lead to greater impacts than the contribution of each policy alone. It assets that if all policies went into effect at once, South Africa’s GDP per capita would almost quintuple rather than triple by 2050. It would more than triple in Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland, and almost triple in Namibia. The report notes that while good social policies help capitalize on this changing population structure, a sound macroeconomic environment, promotion of private-sector development, and the expansion of labor-intensive sectors are also essential. 
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