Sub-Saharan Africa Looks To Entrepreneurs For Job Growth
“Job Creation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Entrepreneurs. Governments. Innovation,” a new report from Djembe Communications and Forbes Insights sets forth a framework for approaching the most important economic issues for the region. It does so from the perspective of those whose well-being most depends on it—the young people of sub-Saharan Africa.
To take the pulse of their views on the state of their economies, drivers of job creation, the role of the government and entrepreneurship, Djembe and Forbes Insights surveyed 4,000 individuals under of 40 from Angola, Ghana, Mozambique and Nigeria. Below ar the findings. The report, to be published in September, will add analysis and narrative for the data.
Regional Sub-Saharan Key Findings
Job creation is the most important issue for the future of the sub-Saharan region, with the largest percentage (48%) of survey respondents citing it. Job creation takes precedence over other important issues, such as eradicating corruption, health and sanitation, or political stability.
Entrepreneurs are among the top drivers of job creation for young people (36%), but technology and education are equally important. The majority of survey respondents (59%) look to entrepreneurs to advance the economy by creating jobs.
Corruption and lack of business transparency are the top barriers to entrepreneurship, according to 45% of survey respondents, followed by lack of access to capital and financing (35%).
Agriculture and natural resources are the sectors that will, over the next five years, create the most jobs, according to 43% and 35% of survey respondents respectively. The natural resources sector is seen as a top catalyst for entrepreneurs (37%), and agriculture is the sector that will produce the most entrepreneurs over the next five years, according to 43% of survey respondents.
Sub-Saharan societies have largely positive views about entrepreneurs, with a majority (56%) counting on them to create jobs, and believing that they worked hard for what they achieved (56%). A significant majority of survey respondents (72%) would prefer to start a business rather than work for an existing organization.
Among the sub-Saharan countries surveyed by Forbes Insights, Angola stands out by having by far the most respondents citing education as crucial to job creation for the young. With job creation for the younger generation cited as the most important issue for the country’s future (44%), education is perceived as the top driver of job creation for young people over the next five years (48%), as well as the industry that will create the most jobs for young people over the next five years (40%). Among the countries surveyed, Angola has the highest percentage of respondents (49%) who would prefer to work for an organization instead of starting their own business.
With job creation for the younger generation being the most important issue for the country’s future, according to 50% of survey respondents, Ghana is adopting a progressive approach to solving the issue. Technology is the top driver of job creation for young people over the next five years (44%), and interviews with entrepreneurs revealed that they are more focused on innovation than entrepreneurs from the other countries surveyed for this report. Survey respondents from Ghana were also very positive about their entrepreneurs, with just 13% saying that they came to their profits dishonestly, and a vast majority (85%) preferring to start a business rather than joining the ranks of an existing organization.
The country very closely mirrors the aggregate findings for the region. Once again, job creation for the younger generation is seen as the most important issue for the country’s future (50%); entrepreneurs are seen as the top drivers of job creation for young people over the next five years (39%). The natural resources sector plays a more prominent role in the country’s future, according to survey respondents. They expect this sector tocreate the most jobs for young people over the next five years (49%),create the most entrepreneurs over the next five years (50%), as well as be the top driver of entrepreneurship (38%). Despite the country’s Marxist past, the majority of survey respondents (66%) would prefer to start a business rather than work for an organization, and the attitudes to entrepreneurs are mostly positive.
Nigeria stands out among the sub-Saharan countries surveyed by Forbes Insights in that it has the highest number of young people wanting to be entrepreneurs (86%). Nigerian entrepreneurs are also viewed most positively by fellow Nigerians, with just 13% of young people suspecting entrepreneurs of dishonesty, and 63% of survey respondents expressing their admiration for entrepreneurs. As in other sub-Saharan countries, entrepreneurs are seen as the drivers of job creation (40%). The government is expected to create the most jobs over the next five years, according to 56% of survey respondents. Eliminating corruption looms as a much more important issue in Nigeria than in other countries surveyed for this report, being perceived not only as a top barrier to entrepreneurship (47%), but also as the most important issue for the country’s future (53%).