The twin concerns of 'jobless growth' and slow poverty reduction are central challenges on the policy agenda in Africa. Poverty in Africa continues to be high; and the region has the lowest responsiveness of poverty to per capita income growth of any of the world’s developing regions. This research programme is intended to help fill the current knowledge gap on why Africans are 'working hard but working poor'. Recent research suggests that Africa’s structural pattern of growth during the last two decades is at least partly responsible.
The research objective is to broaden our understanding of the structural transformation challenge in Africa, link it to issues of employment creation and poverty reduction in a more systematic way, and provide practical guidance for policy makers. This project includes five components: (I) Learning to Compete (L2C) publications and communications; (II) the practice of industrial policy; (III) industries without smokestacks; (IV) Natural resources, jobs and poverty; and (V) increasing the employment intensity of growth.