Investments in free universal childcare could generate 17 million jobs in Nigeria, especially for women, reducing the gender gap in employment by up to seven percentage points.
This was disclosed in a report titled ‘Green Jobs for Women in Africa’, which was based on a study by the African Natural Resources Centre of the African Development Bank and the United Nations Women Regional Office for West and Central Africa.
The report emphasised the need to invest in universal childcare in Africa, which would significantly benefit the continent.
The report read in part, “UN Women estimates that investments to achieve free universal childcare could generate 0.9 million jobs in Senegal, 1.2 million in Côte d’Ivoire, 17 million in Nigeria, 1.4 million in Rwanda, and 7 million in United Republic of Tanzania. The study also shows that the majority of jobs would be for women, reducing the gender gap in employment by up to 7 percentage points in some countries.”
The report also affirmed that Africa is suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has deteriorated economies and impoverished more people.
“Africa is shouldering the effects of an unprecedented pandemic. The resulting economic crisis has worsened social conditions and increased economic vulnerabilities, and lockdown measures and social distancing have impeded supply and demand, endangering the livelihoods of countless people.”
It added, “The crisis has affected all sectors, from transport to retail and service sectors to tourism, with large disruptions in supply chains and production and extensive job losses. According to African Economic Outlook 2021, gross domestic product contracted 2.1 per cent in 2020. The AfDB estimates that, without adequate support, about 39 million more Africans – the majority of them women – could fall into extreme poverty in 2021.”
It then stressed the need for gender-responsive green growth strategies that would create jobs and benefit the economy of each country in Africa.
The report further read in part, “Post-COVID-19 recovery policies in the African continent need to build on gender-responsive green growth strategies that create new green jobs and transform conventional jobs into green jobs. Well-designed green projects can generate more employment and deliver higher short-term returns than conventional fiscal stimulus. Green transformation is expected to create 24 million jobs globally in the next 20 years.
“The Global Commission on Adaptation calculates that every dollar invested in building climate resilience could result in between $2 and $10 in net economic benefit. Identifying opportunities early on and facilitating women’s access to them can reduce gender gaps as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery.”
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