Manpower, education, skills and jobs in Sub- Saharan Africa: Past trends and future outlook


This chapter offers both a retrospective and a prospective view on SSA’s manpower, education and productivity. Firstly, we review patterns of working age manpower growth over the postwar era for the sub-Sahara, as well as indications of the changing local and regional trends in adult educational attainment. We will only touch briefly on the topics of skills and jobs, as comprehensive region-wide time series data on these quantities remains all but impossible to come by. Secondly, we place SSA’s educational performance in international perspective, and examine the influence that educational attainment and other key factors seem to have exerted on per capita productivity, both in SSA and the rest of the world. Finally, we venture to examine the outlook for SSA’s manpower, education and productivity in the dec-ades immediately ahead.


This is a draft of a chapter that appeared in the book Africa’s population: In search of a demographic dividend edited by Hans Groth and John May (c) Springer International Publishing AG 2017. Used by permission. The book is available here.

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