Knowledge Note

"Is investment in skills in Sub-Saharan African countries meeting the needs of the economies of today and tomorrow?"

Sub-Saharan Africa has the youngest population of any region of the world, and that growing working-age population represents a major opportunity to reduce poverty and increase shared prosperity. But the region’s workforce is the least skilled in the world, constraining economic prospects. Despite economic growth, declining poverty, and investments in skills-building, too many students in too many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are not acquiring the foundational skills they need to thrive and prosper in an increasingly competitive global economy.

This Overview of the World Bank Group and Agence Française de Développement book, The Skills Balancing Act in Sub-Saharan Africa : Investing in Skills for Productivity, Inclusivity, and Adaptability, examines the balancing act that individuals and countries face in making productive investments in both a wide range of skills – cognitive, socio-emotional, and technical – and a wide range of groups – young children through working adults – so that Sub-Saharan Africa will thrive.

This Knowledge Note is an overview of a co-publication by the World Bank Group and the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency). It was authored by Omar Arias, David K. Evans, and Indhira Santos. To access the full book, please click here.