Report from World Economic Forum (WEF) states that African countries, rich and poor alike, lose a lot by not making the most of their populations’ economic potentials.
WEF reported that an average of just 65 percent of talent is being optimized during all stages of working life through education, skills development and deployment and African countries mostly the ones in Sub-Saharan Africa, ranks lowest, with the total average score of 55.44 for the 26 countries ranked.
WEF Capital Report 2016 published on Tuesday aims at helping world countries assess the resultant effect of past and present policies and investments in education and skills and provide guidance on how to prepare the workforce for the future demands of the global economy
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF) called on world’s educators and employers to “fundamentally rethink human capital through dialogue and partnerships”.
“The adaptation of educational institutions, labour market policy and workplaces are crucial to growth, equality and social stability.” he added
A total of 19 nations were found to have tapped 80 percent of their human capital potential or even more, 40 countries scored between 70 and 80 percent and 38 scored between 60 and 70 percent. A further 28 countries scored between 50 and 60 percent and five countries in the index remained below 50 percent in 2016.
Within sub-Saharan Africa, a number of countries, including Mauritius, at 76; Ghana, at 84; South Africa, at 88; and Zambia, at 90, score in the 60-70 percent range – putting them ahead of the Middle East and North Africa regional average and on a par with the lower half of the Latin American and East Asia and the Pacific regions.
However, countries such like Ethiopia, at 119, and Nigeria, at 127, are faced with a range of human capital challenges.
The danger of missed opportunity is especially notable for Africa as it stands poised to benefit from a so-called demographic dividend thanks to having the world’s highest proportion of young people.
Speaking on this, WEF said in a statement that human capital investment and planning could make a difference to a nation’s human capital endowment regardless of where it falls on the global income scale.