“Infrastructure development is central to creating favourable conditions for Africa’s industrialisation to address the needs of Africa’s youthful population, urbanisation, unemployment and Africa’s aspirations for double-digit growth,” said Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade at the NEPAD Agency.

Mr Grey-Johnson was speaking on 12 March at a workshop held at the NEPAD Agency in Johannesburg, to prepare for the launch of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Job Creation Toolkit.

He went on to state that, “The toolkit will help lead policymakers on the continent in the right direction to addressing the demographic dividend and youth unemployment by making the case that infrastructure can reduce unemployment.”

The Job Creation Toolkit will serve as a practical tool, catalysing a new African jobs’ focus in the development and operation of Africa’s infrastructure projects, and maximising the number and quality of African jobs.

The methodology upon which the toolkit was developed, estimates direct, indirect and induced labour market effects during the planning, construction and, operation and maintenance phases of PIDA’s infrastructure projects. In addition, the methodology estimates secondary job effects, which are those jobs that are being created in other sectors of the economy due to the operational infrastructure in service, such as improved energy access.

For instance, the methodology estimates that 126,500 jobs can be provided through the Ruzizi III hydropower project serving Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. The estimated jobs are broken down as follows: Around 25,100 direct, indirect and induced job years during the project 5-year construction phases; 6,500 job years for the operation and maintenance phase; and around 103,700 secondary job years over the 50-year useful life of the project as a result of improved energy access across the three countries.

The methodology’s underlying foundation is based on the assumption that project total investment costs will lead to the purchase of goods and services within an economy, which will then create employment.

Dr Towela Nyirenda-Jere, NEPAD Agency’s Principal Programme Officer for the Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme explained that the PIDA project owners and their technical partners can use the online toolkit to test alternative project designs and scenarios to maximise African job creation. The toolkit will also have a Best Practice Job Maximisation Guide that will detail possible employment-generating interventions at both national and regional levels. It will provide guidelines on policies and good practice for job maximisation in infrastructure.

The PIDA Job Creation Toolkit will be launched in July 2018.

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