4. HUMAN SERVICES
Over 80% of market value in today's global markets is allocated to intangible assets. Increasingly, this is a measure of talent in the form of strategic knowledge, creativity, adaptability and execution in the workplace. In this new talent economy, competitive advantage relies on integrated and measurable practices for acquiring, aligning, engaging, advancing and retaining the right people.
By raising the quality of human capital, Africa would build critical capacities, increase the volume and quality of skills, and deepen the institutional base for harnessing new job, industrial and technological opportunities that will open up as the economies become more globally connected. In addition, a healthier and better-educated and trained population will produce more, accelerate the demographic transition and contribute to poverty reduction.
If, on the other hand, progress in reducing the disease burden and raising the education and skill levels of the population falters, the large reservoir of young people could become a disruptive force and slow down or reverse economic growth. The window of opportunity to make the massive investment required is no more than 10-15 years after which a weak human capital base would begin to act as a drag on further economic growth.