Premium African Union study shows that employment is the biggest challenge in Angola and Mozambique.

Employment is the biggest challenge for Angola, Mozambique and the other eight countries from southern Africa, according to a study by the African Union (AU) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) regarding growth policies in the continent.

The 'Development Dynamics in Africa - Growth, Employment and Inequality 2018' report estimates that 16.5 million people in Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe are unemployed, according to data referring to the period from 2015 to 2030.

The universe of the set of 10 southern African countries to which the study refers is of 177 million people, representing 14% of the population on the African continent, according to statistics provided by the AU, which estimates, as mentioned in this study, conducted in partnership with the OECD, that 1.1 million people is able to enter the labour market each year, until 2030.

The first report by the AU and the OECD, which addresses the relationships between growth, employment and inequalities in Africa and the implications for the strategic frameworks, points out problems with the diversification of economies, stressing that 'several countries depend heavily on the mining sector, which is volatile and creates few jobs'.

The limited creation of jobs, the incompatibility of skills and the obstacles that appear when attempting to start or grow new businesses are the reasons listed in the study to justify long-term unemployment rates of 15-35% in the countries that make up the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

In the countries that are not a part of the SADC - the 10 southern African countries included in this study are joined by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, Tanzania, Seychelles and Madagascar - most workers do not have the financial resources or qualifications to enter the labor market.

'Most workers are underemployed and work in poverty, especially in agriculture and low value-added services', noted the African academic researchers, economists and other African experts that wrote the report "Development Dynamics in Africa - Growth, Employment and Inequality 2018"

.Austral Africa nations, which present 'high levels of inequality in terms of income' earned from work, also have inequality issues in terms of employment opportunities for men and women.

'Gender inequality remains a significant obstacle', the study said, highlighting the existence of 'generally higher unemployment rates among women than among men, even among young people'.

It is concluded that 'the gap between men and women in the labor force remains a large one' in Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The extreme poverty in this region, which spans 5.9 million kilometers, reached 35.8% of the population of South Africa in 2013, reflecting a decrease since 1990, when it was registered at 43.8%.

The decline was justified by the AU and the OECD with 'social spending and growth helping to reduce extreme poverty' in the region, in which the majority of the rural population still does not have access to basic services such as electricity, water and sanitation.

The authors of the study compares the rural and urban realities and concluded that there is 'a great lack of opportunities' for people living outside urban centers.

In terms of electricity, the 'wide disparity of access' is proven by the numbers: in rural areas, only 22% of the population has access to electricity, while in urban centers the coverage is 80%.

Only 48% of the rural population has access to drinkable water, against 87% in urban centers.

Data on health conditions indicate that access thereto in rural areas is 34%, with 65% in urban centers.

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