Global Meeting on Population and the Generational Economy, August 2020
Presentation: Olanrewaju Olaniyan, Noah Olasehinde, Olabanji Awodumi, Oyeteju Odufuwa, Human Capital Dynamics, Demographic Dividend and Economic Growth in West Africa
Demographic transformations pose significant opportunities and risks. While demographic transition is likely to occur in every country, accelerating its arrival and realizing the full scope of any potential associated with demographic dividend depend largely on policy choices to steer the process. Of all the five sub-regions in Africa, West Africa has the slowest demographic transition. As at 2015, no West African country has advanced in demographic transition. This paper examines the effects of demographic dividends and human capital on economic growth. A balanced panel economic growth model for West Africa was estimated using data obtained from the World Development Indicators. The demographic dividend data is however obtained from the NTA website for 12 countries that the data is available. Our results show that demographic dividend contributed significantly to per capita income growth in West Africa. There is a significant positive effect of human capital on economic growth, suggesting that the increasing working population needs to be complemented with adequate human capital development, especially through investment in education for sustained economic growth. While female labour force participation rate is found to enhance growth, growth of total labour force hinders growth. Thus, vibrant and flexible labour markets is important for harnessing demographic dividends for long term growth. It is therefore proposed that West African governments should prepare itself to put in place policies and actions that will accelerate and realise the promise of the potential dividend that the current population dynamics offer.
File: NTA2020 Olaniyan_b
Paper: NTA2020 paper Olaniyan_b
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