chapter  10
15 Pages

Employment, poverty and inclusive development in Africa: Policy choices in the context of widespread informality


The structure of employment in most African countries is characterized by a relatively small share of private industrial employment, a dominance of agricultural employment, and widespread self-employment in informal, nonagricultural enterprises. Of course, exceptions exist (e.g. South Africa) and there is noticeable heterogeneity in employment arrangements among countries with similar economic structures. However, coherent employment policies that explicitly recognize the structure of employment often remain elusive and underdeveloped. This chapter examines the nature of employment in Africa, the importance of the employment-poverty linkage, and the biases implicit in standard employment policies through the lens of informal employment and the informal sector.