Africa Briefs

11 May 2021 | Economics

Ghana to create more jobs

The Ghanaian government will speed up the implementation of its proposed jobs and skills programme to promote skill development and offer job opportunities to the youth, Ghana's finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta said on Sunday.

The upcoming US$200-million programme will strengthen the capacity of the private sector as well as small and medium enterprises to create jobs for the youth.

"This is a programme we have been discussing with the World Bank over the past three years and it aims at addressing the structural inequities in the economy to facilitate economic transformation and increase private sector jobs," he said.

In addition to this programme, the government will launch eight new initiatives in the coming months in the health, tourism, trade, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors to boost economic growth, which will also contribute to job creation, said the minister.

The latest data states that the youth unemployment rate in the West African country increased to 9.46% in 2020, compared with the 9.1% recorded a year earlier. – Nampa/Xinhua

Zambia: Digital technology can expand markets

Zambian president Edgar Lungu has called on the business community to embrace digital platforms in order to reach wider markets amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Zambian leader said the pandemic has presented new opportunities for doing business resulting in a rise in the number of niche businesses poised to respond to renewed demands resulting from the pandemic.

"We have seen a rise in the provision of digital solutions making it easier for people to access goods and services online without ever having to leave the comfort of their homes. Therefore, the importance for the business community and the citizenry at large to embrace the digital space cannot be overemphasised," he said when he officially opened the Lusaka Business Expo 2021.

The Zambian leader said the pandemic has not spared the country's economy forcing the government to come up with an economic recovery programme aimed at restoring economic growth to 3% by 2022. – Nampa/Xinhua

Tunisia begins week of strict measures

Tunisia on Sunday started a week of coronavirus restrictions covering the Eid holiday, as hospitals battle to stay afloat as Covid-19 cases soar.

Prime minister Hichem Mechichi said Friday that Tunisia was going through "the worst health crisis in its history" and that health facilities were at risk of collapse.

Until next Sunday, mosques, markets and non-essential shops must close, gatherings and family or cultural celebrations are banned, and people are forbidden from travelling between regions. Schools have been closed since mid-April.

The Eid al-Fitr holidays that mark the end of Ramadan are traditionally a time when Muslim families and friends gather together.

Tunisia, a country of almost 12 million, has officially recorded more than 319 000 coronavirus cases and 11 350 deaths. Over 500 people are currently in intensive care, a level previously unseen in the North African country. – Nampa/AFP

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