Africa’s population has a median age of 19.7,[i] and forecasts show that sub-Saharan African nations might contribute for more than half of global population increase between 2019 and 2050.
This young and growing population will require access to decent jobs if we are to secure equitable and sustainable economic development for all. Infrastructure is vital in this context, and I’d want to take this opportunity to bring to light this sometimes-overlooked part of our job.
When you think about jobs linked to an infrastructure project, what springs to mind? Men and women in hard hats and high visibility jackets working on a construction site? Our projects do create these jobs. For example, the Salima Solar project employed more than 800 people to build the recently commissioned 60MWac solar plant in Malawi.
However, employment opportunities extend far beyond the construction team.
The entire Salima Solar team ate lunch on site each day and jobs were created for local women managing the African Kitchen to supply them with nourishing meals, their work clothes were laundered by local workers and the site was kept safe and secure by a team of maintenance and security staff.