Why fostering innovation in human capital crucial for Africa growth

IT is now more critical than ever for African nations to take key measures to fully realise the continent’s human capital potential. The private sector must work with the government on these initiatives closely. DR HILDEBRAND SHAYO, a banker and investment analyst, was interviewed by Daily News reporter ABDUEL ELINAZA on the potential economic benefits for the nation’s citizens if purposeful measures were implemented to maximise human capital potential.

Q: Why a country’s warrant to release its human capital is essential in today’s fiercely competitive economic setting?

Answer: For better jobs, equal opportunities and workforce competitiveness, it is essential to develop the skills and promote the technologies of a million Africans that also include Tanzania. The continent of Africa is rapidly changing and there is optimism for its future that is reflected in the generally acknowledged economic impetus and growing global attention.

Wealth in minerals has been found and will keep on finding new ones. Capital is moving more frequently. Strong retail markets are fostering a growing middle-class customer base. Societies are becoming more democratic and open and integrated into the world ecosystem. In this setting, it is essential to consider investing in human capital before it is too late, or the continent is left behind.

Q: What are the negative effects of continuing poverty and growing inequality amidst the development of human capital?

Answer: Amidst proposed initiatives to unlock human capital potential, a generation at risk can be seen in the labour market’s turmoil, which is characterised by growing skill gaps, low productivity in the informal sector, unemployment, and underemployment. Data shows there will be more than a billion young people in the world by 2050. Many of these young people will have trouble finding work in Africa’s underdeveloped, low-quality formal sector, where enrolment in and graduation rates from schools with skills the market want are among the lowest in the world. The result is that young and female unemployment and underemployment will endanger social cohesion and inclusive growth.

Q: How can countries sustain prosperity while making it inclusive and environmentally friendly as they struggle to unleash human capital potential?

Answer: To boost and sustain growth, these economies must move up the value chain to ones that are more innovative and efficient. High-impact expenditures in research, technology, and education will be necessary for this. A thriving private sector is essential for generating employment, developing, and promoting high-end products and services, and joining global value chains.

Q: Why do you believe that countries should have effective national Human Capital Strategies?

Answer:In my opinion, having a human capital strategy and putting it into practice is essential because it will help build human capital in Africa by leveraging other national strategies, such as those related to gender, private sector development, governance action plan, and national’s strategy on addressing fragility and building resilience in Africa. Major operational focus areas in my view should be highlighting the importance of technology and skills for a competitive workforce and economy that supports inclusive and green growth.

Q: Are there any lessons that African countries should consider as they struggle to maximise the potential of their human capital potential.

Answer: The necessity to expand support for science, technology and innovation in Africa while tackling exclusion, socioeconomic inequality, and gender disparities should come from the best practice lessons. To promote inclusive service delivery, and entrepreneurship, and ensure that the knowledge and skills generated contribute to national economic competitiveness, the private sector’s dynamic role in the delivery of education, the creation of jobs, access to essential goods, and the leapfrogging of inclusive social infrastructure cannot be overstated.

Q: What are the primary areas of attention when striving to unlock human capital potential amidst technical advancement?

Answer: For me, technology, and skills. These two abilities emphasise the need for quick, medium-term, and long-term sustainable solutions to the problems of young unemployment and economic productivity. Through knowledge work, policy discussion, and lending activities, national plans can be targeted to promote investments in the development of skills and technology when working with policy banks like the TIB Development Bank established to fund development impact projects. These measures would address the formidable problem of youth and women’s underemployment and unemployment by addressing the low productivity and skill mismatch prevalent in the informal sector, which employs many young people and women.

Q: What is required to continue forming successful collaborations based on comparative advantage to increase human capital potential?

Answer: In unlocking human capital potential, conducting operations in a collaborative manner will be necessary to fully yield returns from the use of human capital. Specific incentives will be needed to attract and retain skills. The important thing is that Africa is going through significant changes that have an impact on calling for investment in developing human capital.

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