Policy Brief: Enabling Sustainable Livelihoods in Cities
With the world’s fastest urban growth rate and largest youth population, African cities are undergoing profound demographic, spatial and environmental transformations. But formal job opportunities and economic growth have not kept pace, resulting in poverty, vulnerability and many city dwellers turning to the informal sector for sustainable livelihoods.
Opportunities for employment are essential elements of sustainable and productive urbanisation. As such, the first step in improving urban livelihoods is collecting data on labour markets, including information on the informal sector. Attracting diverse industrial growth and private-sector partnerships is also important, but this will require significant improvements to city infrastructure.
City governments need to take an active role in supporting transitions from school to work, while incentivising businesses to share expertise with young entrepreneurs. Finally, it is vital that authorities recognise the importance of livelihoods in the informal sector, providing support to make them a stable, safe and acceptable part of city development.
Opportunities for employment are essential elements of sustainable and productive urbanisation
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