The NEPAD Agency with support from the German Government through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Global Clearinghouse for Development Finance (GlobalDF) developed the PIDA Job Creation Toolkit to estimate the labour market effects of PIDA cross-border infrastructure projects. The Toolkit is a first of its kind online estimation tool that can be utilised by project owners to estimate how many direct, indirect, induced and secondary jobs can be created by infrastructure projects. The possible jobs created, can be disaggregated by project phase, project and beneficiary countries as well as economic sector of where those jobs are estimated to be realized.
In that respect, the NEPAD Agency held a training workshop in Pretoria on the 17th – 18th July 2018 to train PIDA project owners and officials from the Regional Economic Communities and the African Union Commission in applying the Toolkit for their respective projects. Mr. Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of Regional Integration Infrastructure and Trade Programme at the NEPAD Agency, welcomed the delegates and introduced the toolkit as a powerful tool that can transform African job maximization. Users were trained how to input their project’s data to generate job estimations and analyse the Toolkit output for further use. For example: a hydropower project has the potential to create above 2 million job years in the project and project beneficiary countries over an estimated project life cycle of 50 years. Building up on that, the Toolkit also shows the economic sectors of where those estimated jobs can be created so the local labour market can be prepared to absorb those potential jobs locally. Another Toolkit function is that of scenario analysis: often times in infrastructure development, project inputs such as construction materials or the preparation of technical studies is brought in from outside of Africa. The Toolkit recognises this as investment leakage and therefore does not estimate local jobs. Rather the Toolkit shows users the number of local jobs that are lost because of for example importing steel from overseas. However, the Toolkit can create a what if scenario: what if, these inputs such as construction materials/technical studies etc. were locally sourced instead of imported? Eventually, the user can see an As If versus a What If scenario that contrasts the number of local jobs potentially being lost for not buying locally sourced project inputs e.g. steel. Additionally, the Toolkit provides action areas of how local jobs can be maximized during the different project phases.
Overall the workshop was big success leaving participants to go back home with a tool that benefits them in terms project management and marketing as well as policy planning. Participants stated to use the Toolkit in future socio-economic analysis and promoting their projects to Ministers and management officials. At the training closing remarks, participants started to tweet: #PIDA Job Creation Toolkit: changing people lives or #NEPAD Agency prepares game changing Job Creation Toolkit. Moving forward, the PIDA Job Creation Toolkit will incorporate the feedback provided by the participants to optimize its service before going online.