Employed, productive populations fuel investment, sustainable economic growth, and inclusive progress. With more than 2.2 billion people living on less than US$2 per day, however, growth that eradicates poverty depends on providing decent jobs — equal opportunities for fair wages, safe working environments, and social protection. And nations will need to anticipate the job needs of the future to ensure that 470 million new job seekers between now and 2030 have appropriate skills and training for employment.
Today’s national economic plans need to consider such growing external influences as foreign investment, migration, and technology transfer. UNU research provides guidance for countries to navigate the changing geo-economic landscape, while creating growth that lifts vulnerable populations through capacity building, job creation, and targeted social benefits. Our work in Africa, for example, is helping establish robust information systems to monitor and evaluate economic progress and its social impacts, thereby creating knowledge that gives planners the power to transform skewed development into opportunities for sustainable livelihoods.
“Technological innovations can improve efficiency and productivity, but they can also increase inequality, disrupt labour markets, and displace workers. Migrant workers and women are heavily represented in jobs that may eventually be lost to automation. My research at UNU aims to ensure that technology innovations are inclusive. The future should leave no one behind.”
“Many African countries have made tremendous economic progress in recent years. But only a few have managed to achieve inclusive growth — like Mozambique, where my work is concentrated. Through my research at UNU, I want to find ways to ensure that disadvantaged groups can benefit fully from economic growth.”
The female migrant’s story is often filled with tales of victimhood, vulnerability, and exploitation. But there are positive stories too. This research highlights the opportunities that migration can offer for female empowerment.
As China plays an increasingly significant role in global finance, it represents a game changer for the current economic and political landscape of the African continent. With China’s growing prominence, a less Eurocentric approach to the politics of foreign finance in Africa is increasingly crucial. This project aims to help develop this approach.
Despite its recent economic growth, Mozambique remains in the “least developed” category of countries. To help shift Mozambique to “middle-income” status, and to support inclusive growth that improves the living standards of the Mozambican population, this project trains young scholars to collect economic data and produce high-quality research.