INTERNATIONAL - The World Bank unveiled a new plan today to help African countries strengthen their human capital.
The objective of the plan is to enable Africa's young people to grow up with optimal health and equipped with the right skills to compete in the digitizing global economy.
Sub-Saharan Africa scores the lowest of all the world's regions on the World Bank's Human Capital Index, a measurement of how well countries invest in the next generation of workers. The score is explained by high mortality and stunting rates in the region, as well as inadequate student learning outcomes - all of which have a direct effect on economic productivity.
In an effort to help countries turn these indicators around, the World Bank's Africa Human Capital Plan is setting ambitious targets to be achieved in the region by 2023. These include a drastic reduction in child mortality and increasing learning outcomes for girls and boys in school by 20 percent. These achievements can raise Africa's Human Capital Index score upwards to increase the productivity of future workers by 13 percent.
"Preventing a child from fulfilling his or her potential is not only fundamentally unjust, but it also limits the growth potential of economies whose future workers are held back. GDP per worker in Sub-Saharan Africa could be 2.5 times higher if everyone were healthy and enjoyed a good education from pre-school to secondary school," said World Bank Vice President for Africa Hafez Ghanem at the launch of the Bank's Plan during the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings.