Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

Het tellen van Afrika's onzichtbare werkers

YAMOUSSOUKRO – De miljarden dollars aan hulp die jaarlijks naar Afrika gaan, brengen het continent wellicht veel goeds, maar kunnen geen oplossing bieden voor de armoede. Alleen door het scheppen van meer banen van hoge kwaliteit zou dat kunnen lukken. De vraag is hoe.

Afrika kan bogen op een groot aanbod aan creatieve arbeidskrachten, dankzij een jongerenbevolking die naar verwachting tegen 2050 zal zijn verdubbeld naar ruim 830 miljoen mensen. Dat zou de economieën op het hele continent een flinke impuls moeten geven. Maar de Afrikaanse beleidsmakers staan voor een ernstig probleem: ze weten niet met hoeveel mensen zij te maken hebben, waar zij leven, en hoe zij aan de kost komen. Eenvoudig gezegd: ze hebben niet genoeg data.

In 46 van de 54 Afrikaanse landen is het officieel bijhouden van cruciale statistieken als die van geboorten, sterfgevallen en huwelijken beperkt. Zoals de Mo Ibrahim Foundation bericht, leeft slechts “een derde van alle Afrikanen in een land waar sinds 2010 een volkstelling heeft plaatsgevonden,” en de bestaande volkstellingen zijn vaak slecht gefinancierd en onbetrouwbaar. Ruim de helft van alle Afrikanen leeft in landen die minstens tien jaar lang géén onderzoek meer hebben gedaan naar de omvang van hun beroepsbevolking.

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