Shifting and Accelerating DFI Investments for More Decent Jobs in Africa

Africa needs 15 million decent jobs per year to meet the needs of its growing population. Already, 13.4% of the continent’s youth are unemployed. Even for those employed, 1 in 3 earn less than $1.90 per day, threatening stability and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Africa’s jobs are scarce, often low quality and low paying — especially for youth, women, and marginalized groups. DFIs have committed to invest $80 billion in Africa’s private sector over the next five years to support the economic growth and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and ONE recognized the opportunity to influence policy and decision makers in Africa and European and North African markets and commissioned this report to understand how our advocacy can ensure that DFIs help us reach our Africa jobs campaign targets.

The purpose of this report is to explore the role of bilateral DFIs in relation to Africa’s jobs, particularly in supporting future quality and green jobs on the continent. The report focuses on 10 of the largest bilateral DFIs in Africa: US’ Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Germany’s DEG, The UK’s CDC group, France’s PROPARCO, Canada’s FinDev, The Netherlands’ FMO, Norway’s NORFUND, Denmark’s IFU, Austria’s OeEB and Spain’s COFIDES. It looks at which bilateral DFIs invest in Africa and how, the future of jobs in Africa, the role of DFIs, and how they can better utilise their position to create the quality and quantity of future jobs that Africa requires.

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