With the expected rise in population, Africa has a huge opportunity in the coming decades, says Henri-Bernard Solignac-Lecomte, Head of the EMEA Desk at the OECD Development Centre. Asked by ECDPM on the role of Regional Integration in the recently released African Economic Outlook 2015, he explained that for the demographic dividend to be useful “people need to have a job and if possible, a decent one”.
The challenge of job creation remains massive and there is no silver-bullet solution, he admits. “It’s not industrialisation alone that can solve it, nor new agricultural development strategies, not even focusing on the service sector, ‘India style’: African strategies will have to be innovative and combine the merits of all these approaches”.
The African Economic Outlook 2015 proposes one solution, to look at regional development afresh, looking at development strategies that are multi-sectoral, more participatory and are placed based on all the sectoral approaches that really tackle the challenge of massive job creation.
Interviewed by Kathleen van Hove, ECDPM.
Recorded during the European Development Days, Brussels, 2015.