Frontier human resources

Neither wild nor west

How to win in Africa

While conditions in Africa are highly conducive toward growth, too little attention has been paid to the human resources required to drive this growth. More specifically, it is important to understand how workforces across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are positioned to support, participate in and benefit from rapid economic development.

This is not to suggest that SSA is a blank canvas on which Western human capital practices can be imposed. Unlocking human capital potential in SSA presents unique challenges best addressed by:

  • Viewing Africa as a continent of diverse countries with different challenges and opportunities, and not as a homogenous entity
  • Strengthening and customizing workforce planning and talent strategies, and partnering, to accelerate technical, vocational and tertiary education delivery
  • Complying with minimum employment standards, and partnering with stakeholders in shaping the labor-relations environment
  • Designing systems that acknowledge the significance of learning and development as a value driver for employees, and structuring incentive solutions that are tangible and immediate
  • Promoting employee engagement that avoids the trap of generalizations and stereotypes, in order to resonate more with local cultural values and attributes

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