Presentation Olivia Muza

Employment policy, global crisis, climate change
and poverty: Africa’s conundrum of competing
dimensions, dynamics and priorities?
Second Congress of African
Economists, Abidjan, Cote d’
November 24-26, 2011
Olivia Muza
Exactly which unsolved challenges are holding back real growth ?
High government and fiscal expenditure
Disease/ HIV/AIDS
Global economic and financial crisis
Climate change
Endemic poverty
Higher prevalence of disease
Chronic conflicts
Low levels of development
Low adaptive capacity
“Solve these first to lift the veil behind which the future lies hidden” [David Hilbert, 1900]
 Since the crisis began in 2007, the global economy unwell
 Deep and multi-dimensional crisis: economic, financial,
environmental, food and energy
 US-financial crisis which turned into an economic crisis
 Developing countries-economic downturn which turned into a
financial crisis
 Most solutions focused mainly on bank bailouts, slashing interest
rates, injecting liquidity
 Financial interventions alone are not the magic elixir
 Markets are interconnected, intertwined, interdependent and
 What are the competing dimensions, dynamics, priorities, choices
and options?
 Is it possible to reconcile the competing paradigms?
 What are the areas of divergence and convergence respectively?
Global trends: emerging and frontline issues
 How is the world doing?
 Rich countries- Recovery from recession is proceeding
 Developing countries- growing briskly, but face tough transitions of
their own
 A 5.7% growth recorded in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2011 raises a
cloud of hope
 UN report on MDGs shows that progress has been made toward the
2015 achievement, despite the crisis
 Yet, a slack labour market exist: high unemployment
 The crisis of our times is the employment crisis
 Slower growth and job creation implies lower tax revenues, more
unemployment and health benefits and a larger deficit
Unemployment and vulnerability in a crisis context
 Between 210 and 239 million people are without jobs
[Global Employment Trends Report]
 620 million workers lived with their families in extreme
poverty before the crisis
 Out of employment implies that the workforce lose the
talent, skills and work habits
 Lost generation of workers, lost to their country, their
communities and their families
 Remittances and foreign direct investment
 Reverse migration
 Reduced labour mobility
 International relations
Climate variability and vulnerability in labour markets
• Dependence and reliance on activities that are vulnerable to climate
shocks i.e. agriculture and tourism
• Undermining the livelihoods of millions in developing countries especially
the poorest
• Climate change threatens to stall or reverse development gains made over
the last several decades
• Climate migrants, conflicts over scarce resources
• Developed countries emitted most of the gases that are warming the
planet- China recently passed the US as the top overall green house gas
[GHG] emitters
• By 2030, International Energy Agency [IEA] speculates that 90% of carbon
dioxide emissions will come from the developing world
• Disappointing enough the late-year 2010 conference in Cancun, did far too
little to solve climate change itself
• Furthermore, no binding treaty on reducing greenhouse emissions and
institutional action plan was established
Rising prices and Africa’s structural problems
Reduction in the consumption basket
Poor devote half of their spending on food
Endemic poverty
Higher prevalence of disease
Chronic conflicts
Low levels of development
Low adaptive capacity
A gendered optical lens in the context of climate
change, global crisis and poverty
• Gender differentiated impact: rural employment-which crops women
produce, ability to adapt and respond e.g. Kenya and Zimbabwe, work
burden, uncertainty and inability to respond to higher food prices
• Men in construction industries will also suffer
• Women eating least and last
• Female farmers ability to respond to effective coping strategies are limited
compared to male farmers
• Restricted access to productive assets, technology, knowledge and inputs
• Large farmer responses of increasing informal employment and use of
pesticides in response affect paid employment opportunities
• Negative employment effects on female-intensive non-traditional
agricultural export industries
• Increase in female unpaid workload
• High demand for educated and qualified workers through promoting
environmentally sound technologies
• Linkage between employment, poverty and gender inequality either
means ‘Distress sale of labour [Elson, 1999]’ or ‘Poverty status of the
Africa’s epochal development, next
warfare and recommendations for policy
Recommendation Policy Options
1, Business
growth and
Clean fuels, energy-efficiency, sustainable forestry, clean
economic growth tourism industries, agriculture CLEAN agroprocessing, biogas generated by landfills, agriculture residues
and other sources of energy, switching out old appliances for
energy efficient models, converting to fluorescent light bulbs
and promoting alternative sources of income for forest
2, Green
economic growth
Low emissions pathway, update or improve greenhouse gas
inventories, conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy
sources, sharing best practices in wild fisheries management
to conserve wetlands
3, Implementing
Smart investments in adaptation, disaster preparedness and
response, the preservation of ecosystem services, encouraging
women to engage in paid rural work, access to knowledge and
training, agricultural advisory services, credit and land tenure
systems, childcare and social services
Africa’s epochal development, next generation
warfare and recommendations for policy
Policy Options
4, Climate
immigrants policies
Integration and re-integration, promoting immigrants
businesses, mainly motivated, hardworking and creative people
5, Informal
Reduction of decent work deficits
economy expansion
and maintenance
6, Promoting SMEs
Credit facilities, information and infrastructure
7, Strengthening
labour unions-
Case study of South Africa: well developed trade unions
8, Opening up
exploration, drilling
and resource
Creating thousands of jobs, significantly increase economic
growth and do wonders for the country’s BOP, reducing oil
imports dramatically i.e. Bakken in North Dakota has already
given that state low unemployment rate in the country
Africa’s epochal development, next
warfare and recommendations for policy
Recommendation Policy Options
9, Enabling tax
Low taxes produce high growth and high growth encourage
entitlements in the long-run
10, A good work
A new generation of workers that work exceptionally well to
advance the cause of development
German Model of development amid a crisis, focus on
technical education, technical institutes, polytechnic
apprenticeships, specialise in high-end complex manufacturers
products that command a premium price
12, Retraining
Retraining programs for the entire generation of workers
13, Rural
NREGA Act in India, implemented in 2005, created a safety net
of guaranteed minimum rural wage for the poorest
households in rural India. Improved food security, health
benefits and a chance to avoid hazardous work
• Leave out ideology, orthodoxy and embrace
creativity, flexibility and pragmatism
• Transition from slack to tight labour conditions
• Move away from crisis response to engaging
dilemmas‘, head on strategies
• Help build a shared regional knowledge base
on new priories and sustainability issues

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