The World Bank has called on African governments, including Nigeria, to implement policies that support local business growth as a strategy for job creation and economic development. In its latest Africa Pulse report, the World Bank highlighted the urgent need for reforms that make it easier for local companies to thrive.
Specific recommendations include streamlining regulations and policies so they are consistent across different business sizes, aligning rules with regional trading partners, and using more inclusive government procurement practices that give preference to local suppliers. Promoting local businesses abroad is also advised as a way to boost exports and foreign investment.
With up to 12 million young people entering the African workforce each year, the World Bank warns that current economic growth is too slow to provide enough quality jobs. The report found that only 3 million formal positions are being created annually, leaving many youth underemployed in unstable, informal work.
To fully leverage Africa’s demographic dividend, the World Bank recommends investing in education, especially technical skills aligned with business needs. Improving learning outcomes in schools and vocational training can equip young people for in-demand roles. Girls’ education and access to jobs for women are highlighted for their potential to unlock productivity.
The World Bank emphasizes the urgent need to facilitate private sector growth and entrepreneurship in Africa. By implementing business-friendly reforms, streamlining regulations, and actively supporting local companies, governments can stimulate job creation and inclusive economic development.