HUMAN CAPITAL SUMMIT: Why investing in human vital

AS the Africa Human Capital Heads of State Summit kicks off today in Dar es Salaam, the meeting is expected to be a stepstone towards developing a human capital that is key to any economic development within the continent.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Dr Natu Mwamba briefing journalists on the sidelines of a technical meeting which convened ahead of the ministerial meeting in Dar es Salaam, on Monday, said investing in human capital was a critical factor in bringing productivity among our countries.

“Out of the 1.2 billion population in Africa 60 per cent accounts for the youth aged 25 years who are in the workforce. As such, we need to come up with bold measures to ensure youths who are in the workforce are taken through the right path,” said Dr Natu.

She underscored the need for ensuring youths are entitled to the right wellbeing, knowledge and skills over their lifetime, thereby enabling the continent to be productive and competitive.

Based on this, the summit is expected to generate the Dar es Salaam Human Capital Declaration 2023, which expresses member states commitment in the investment of human capital coupled with an enabling environment such as policies and strategies to go about the course.

She cited statistics from the United Nations which show that by 2050, the African Continent will possess a population of 2.2 billion people and 3.2 billion people by 2100.

“Seventy per cent of the population is anticipated to be generated from the youth, therefore, the need to invest in the group is very critical,” she said.

By so doing, she disclosed that the countries will be in better positions to come up with measurable goals.

She outlined some of the investments made by Tanzania, so as to harness the human capital potential in critical sectors such as health and education among others.

The PS indicated that the government invested in the education of children from early school to university by introducing the free fee education and apprenticeship programme offered by the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA), to equip youths with skills needed in the labour market.

As for the health sector, through medical tourism, Tanzania has ensured its people get access to health services through the construction of well-equipped health facilities across the country.

Equally, specialised treatment offered at Muhimbili National Hospital, Mloganzila Branch and the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute patients from within and outside the country have acquired treatment.

In this regard, confirmation from 30 Heads of State and government including Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Prime Ministers and Ministers had been received. Likewise, eighty key focal ministers from sectors such as education, health, science, innovation, labour and employment had also confirmed their participation.

Commenting on the summit, renowned economist-cum-banker, Dr Hildebrand Shayo viewed that the meeting was timely, as it hoped to catapult the country’s future economic growth.

He noted that economic expansion and human capital have a close relationship. By enhancing people’s knowledge and abilities, human capital has an impact on economic growth and can contribute to the development of an economy. The knowledge, skill sets, and experience that employees have in an economy if not well recognised and utilised can slow down the county’s growth.

“This meeting is very central because, from an economic point of view, the problems of emerging nations are severe and intricate. The importance of a solid human resource basis in enhancing other investments and policies to increase productivity and economic growth is timely,” noted Dr Shayo.

World Bank Country Director, Mr Nathan Balete in his address during the summit’s side event revealed that the meeting will bring focus and attention at the highest level to the importance of investing in people as a core driver of productivity, resilience, and growth; raise awareness of the potential opportunities from the changing demographics in the region.

He underscored the urgent need to focus on learning and skills as key productivity drivers that will generate the demographic dividend and position human capital development as every sector’s priority.

“We anticipate that the summit will also elicit commitments to two to three tangible financial and policy measures prioritising investments in people from each participating country, and will reinforce ownership of the human capital agenda by the region as one of the priority areas of sustainable development under the Agenda 2063 of the African Union” stated the Country Director.

Related Articles

Back to top button