Ghana has been ranked as the fourth (4th) country with the most attractive labour market in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), according to Fitch Solutions.
Based on the rankings, Ghana outperformed its West African peers, with the exception of Nigeria, which ranked third (3rd). Whereas Botswana and Seychelles ranked first and second respectively with both representing Southern Africa and Eastern Africa.
The other countries that follow include: Mauritius (5th), South Africa (6th), Namibia (7th), Kenya (8th), Rwanda (9th), and Uganda (10th).
According to Fitch Solutions, these rankings demonstrate significant progress in governments’ efforts in SSA . Governments have worked over the years to improve the educational attainment levels and quality of the education system.
This is exemplified in several initiatives including increasing pupil-to-teacher ratios in most countries as well as enforcing free and compulsory basic education for every child of school going age.
While these are commendable, Fitch Solutions indicated that there still remains a weak cooperation between tertiary education institutions and domestic industries in the region.
For instance, the research firm noted that the number of science graduates in the region remains low compared with other regions. That aside, the quality of higher education is below global standards.
The regional rankings show that Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Ghana are the top four countries with the highest number of science graduates in SSA.
On this note, Fitch Solutions considers that more economically developed countries and Uganda, Mauritania and Burundi are the regional laggards.
structural barriers continue to impede education
Other countries such as Nigeria, Mauritania and Guinea are towards the upper end of economic development in the region. However, they are way below when it comes to the ranking of science graduates. This is due to the fact that these countries’ economic focus rests on heavy industries such as mining and infrastructure.
This, Fitch Solutions highlights as a big challenge. Thus, this indicates that Pharmaceutical companies in the region, in particular will continue to face difficulties recruiting highly skilled workers from the local labour force.
“Companies in SSA will continue to face some difficulties with sourcing talent for pharmaceutical manufacturing. While Senegal produces the largest number of science graduates in SSA, Botswana offers the best labour market in the region.
“Countries in SSA will aim to improve educational attainment levels and quality of the education system across the region.”Fitch Solutions
Furthermore, this would mean that businesses seeking workers with advanced skills will face high recruitment costs. As a result, such businesses will likely remain reliant on importing foreign labour. Also, investments in intensive training of local workers will remain affected.
Fitch Solutions believes that making basic education compulsory will improve tertiary education enrolment rates. This will make more people acquire the required primary and secondary education that is needed to enrol in higher education. Also, this will help improve the pool of skilled labour in the region.
However, Fitch Solutions highlights that the structural nature of the barriers to educational attainment in most countries in SSA will take years for these effects to feed through. For example, the laws in most countries remain difficult to enforce for all stakeholders.