Home > Productive Cities > Infrastructure development a tool for job creation in Sub-Sahara Africa
I need comment on this please
Many thanks and I encourage you to look at other threads of the discussion on infrastructure and job creation which have already been posted. The ILO's Employment-Intensive Investment Programme has a lot of experience with infrastructure development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
If you follow this link, you will see many reference (lower right) on African countries:
Also, please look at my summary of the eDebate on infrastructure, housing and employment:
Infrastructure, housing and employment
The discussion covers the broader linkages between infrastructure development (including transportation and sanitation services) and employment as well as more specific linkages between housing and employment.
Whereas to some the relation between infrastructure and employment was obvious, to others the relationship was not automatic and required specific policies to optimize the impacts on job creation. Different methodologies and “toolkits” were proposed in order to programme and prioritize infrastructure investments with respect to a variety of objectives, including their employment outcomes. Two of these are:
• Sprint City: a planning tool for simulating impacts of rail transport infrastructure on land use development and employment, currently used in the Netherlands and available for use in other municipalities:
• Cities Infrastructure Investment Prioritization and Planning Toolkit being used in Philippines by Cities Development Initiative in Asia (CDIA).
While these planning methodologies often view job creation as one of different possible goals of infrastructure projects, there is still a gap in methodologies which can actually estimate the job creation potential of these projects. In order to fill this gap, the ILO is developing “employment impact assessment” methodologies to estimate and simulate job creation potential of infrastructure investments. These methodologies measure or estimate not only the short term employment impacts created during the infrastructure construction phase, but also the multiplier effect of induced demand (i.e., employment created through procurement - such as building materials and supplies and support services - and through workers’ consumption), not to mention longer term employment impacts created as a result of the project.
Furthermore the ILO and a number of governments and development associations have decades of experience in implementing “labour-intensive” methods for infrastructure development. Here the objective is not to replace machines with labour at any cost, but rather increase the labour content of infrastructure investments without compromising the quality and cost effectiveness of the infrastructure being constructed.
A case study of an integrated housing and employment programme in Addis Ababa was presented as well as a complementary initiative introducing cobblestone paving which has been replicated throughout Ethiopia. The key ingredients for success was the training and use of micro and small enterprises for housing construction materials, strong political commitment on the part of municipal authorities, the involvement of stakeholders, including the beneficiary community, and strengthening the technical, financial and professional capacity of the construction industry. Multi-purpose or cluster zoning of housing developments could take into account that the house is often also the workplace, thereby supporting longer term job creation.
Whereas some argued that one should not count on infrastructure to provide jobs since public works represented a “boom or bust” strategy, others pointed out that there would always be a need for infrastructure services and their employment impacts should not be overlooked. A number of contributors felt that public infrastructure and employment programmes necessarily required governmental subsidies and therefore were not sustainable. However, the discussion did not look at whether or not such a use of public funds was indeed the price to pay to address unemployment directly, nor were experiences of cost-effective labour-intensive infrastructure development taken on board. Another contribution outlined mechanisms, involving tax structures and public-private partnership, for sharing the added value of infrastructure improvements amongst the various stakeholders in order to support sustainable infrastructure financing.
Other contributions argued that infrastructure investments should be targeted towards lower-income areas, to households and to persons with disabilities, rather than used exclusively as an incentive to attract private sector development. Current patterns of infrastructure development, particularly with respect to transportation and sanitation, tend to favour high-income groups and contribute to environmental degradation. These patterns should be changes to put a greater focus on creating green jobs.
With respect to another are of discussion, infrastructure was seen as particularly important in supporting the informal economy. A case in point was the construction of the Nigerian capital of Abuja which led to a flourishing informal economy.
Do you want to comment? Log in or sign up right now.
Forgot your password?