Connect with us

Economy

Interview: Digital economy essential for creating sustainable jobs in Africa: Ghanaian minister – Xinhua | English.news.cn – Xinhua

Published

 on


Video PlayerClose

 

Ghanaian Communication Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful speaks during an interview with Xinhua in Aswan, Egypt, on Dec. 12, 2019. The digital economy provides an opportunity for African countries to transform their economies and create skillful jobs, Owusu-Ekuful said in a recent interview with Xinhua.(Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

by Marwa Yahya

ASWAN, Egypt, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) — The digital economy provides an opportunity for African countries to transform their economies and create skillful jobs, Ghanaian Communication Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

“Many conflicts in Africa are fueled by poverty, inequality and exclusion. With technology, we have a chance of providing more opportunities for people to get sustainable jobs in health, education, agriculture, trade and commerce sectors,” Owusu-Ekuful said.

Terming technology as an enabler and accelerator, the minister said “access to the internet data and communication should be treated like water and electricity utilities.”

“We can’t leave our young people, who breathes technology, behind,” she added, explaining if the youth feel excluded, or have no opportunity for the future, they will get involved in antisocial activities, which may fuel conflicts.

Developing the banking sector in some African countries like Kenya by revolutionizing digital financial services is an example of embracing technology and utilizing it to create more opportunities for our youth, she reiterated.

However, Owusu-Ekuful said “many innovative solutions that young Africans have developed are just waiting for investors to help them to take it to the markets.”

She stressed on the role of the governments in providing an enabling and regulatory environment, and the frame works that would be “the key to unlocking the potential of African youth.”

It’s the right time for African countries to allocate more funds for the digital infrastructure, she said.

So broadband, fiber connectivity and access to electricity and to the skills that will enable them to use this infrastructure are also critical, she emphasized.

“Africa within the next 20 years with our youthful population will provide the workforce for the rest of the world,” said the minister.

Commenting on some concerns of losing jobs if work depends greatly on technology, the minister said “I think that some jobs will be lost. Many more will be created if they have the right skills.”

So, “the emphasis for us is on providing them with quality education and the digital skills to enable them to succeed,” she stressed.

Technology is great for those who have skills, Owusu-Ekuful said, noting that “there is a transition from the old way of doing things to the new exciting way of doing things. And many more jobs which were unheard of a few years ago are now being created.”

She highlighted while some traditional labor-intensive occupations, jobs will be lost, the young people will acquire new skills that they need to succeed.

“I believe that only technology will help Africa leapfrog and it is in our interest to invest in that because governments can’t do it alone without the private sector and foreign investments,” added Owusu-Ekuful.

She reiterated that technology is a key factor for promotion of the African Union’s 2063 Agenda which is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years.

She highlighted women in Africa still have a long way to go, but increasingly are pushing forward the boundaries.

For women, they can work for better flexible time and deliver the results through communications and technology, without leaving home, so that they can take care of children and still deliver according to the deadlines, she said.

The same for the young people who can get included in any digital work. “With technology, we can energize and accelerate every sector and that is what makes it so pivotal.”

“Africa doesn’t just have to be a consumer of technology produced elsewhere,” she added, pointing out Africa is rich with a huge market waiting to be discovered.

“Investing in the infrastructure and the people of the continent will ensure that those men and women take part in the development of our continent without exclusion that destroys the continental potentials and drags it into conflicts,” she added.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

Canadian retail sales slide in April, May as COVID-19 shutdown bites

Published

 on

december retail sales

Canadian retail sales plunged in April and May, as shops and other businesses were shuttered amid a third wave of COVID-19 infections, Statistics Canada data showed on Wednesday.

Retail trade fell 5.7% in April, the sharpest decline in a year, missing analyst forecasts of a 5.0% drop. In a preliminary estimate, Statscan said May retail sales likely fell by 3.2% as store closures dragged on.

“April showers brought no May flowers for Canadian retailers this year,” Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said in a note.

Statscan said that 5.0% of retailers were closed at some point in April. The average length of the closure was one day, it said, citing respondent feedback.

Sales decreased in nine of the 11 subsectors, while core sales, which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicles, were down 7.6% in April.

Clothing and accessory store sales fell 28.6%, with sales at building material and garden equipment stores falling for the first time in nine months, by 10.4%.

“These results continue to suggest that the Bank of Canada is too optimistic on the growth outlook for the second quarter, even if there is a solid rebound occurring now in June,” Mendes said.

The central bank said in April that it expects Canada’s economy to grow 6.5% in 2021 and signaled interest rates could begin to rise in the second half of 2022.

The Canadian dollar held on to earlier gains after the data, trading up 0.3% at 1.2271 to the greenback, or 81.49 U.S. cents.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa, additional reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto, editing by Alexander Smith)

Continue Reading

Economy

Canadian dollar notches a 6-day high

Published

 on

Canadian dollar

The Canadian dollar strengthened for a third day against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, as oil prices rose and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reassured markets that the central bank is not rushing to hike rates.

Markets were rattled last week when the Fed shifted to more hawkish guidance. But Powell on Tuesday said the economic recovery required more time before any tapering of stimulus and higher borrowing costs are appropriate, helping Wall Street recoup last week’s decline.

Canada is a major producer of commodities, including oil, so its economy is highly geared to the economic cycle.

Brent crude rose above $75 a barrel, reaching its highest since late 2018, after an industry report on U.S. crude inventories reinforced views of a tightening market as travel picks up in Europe and North America.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.2271 to the greenback, or 81.49 U.S. cents, after touching its strongest level since last Thursday at 1.2265.

The currency also gained ground on Monday and Tuesday, clawing back some of its decline from last week.

Canadian retail sales fell by 5.7% in April from March as provincial governments put in place restrictions to tackle a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada said. A flash estimate showed sales down 3.2% in May.

Still, the Bank of Canada expects consumer spending to lead a strong rebound in the domestic economy as vaccinations climb and containment measures ease.

Canadian government bond yields were mixed across a steeper curve, with the 10-year up nearly 1 basis point at 1.416%. Last Friday, it touched a 3-1/2-month low at 1.364%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Continue Reading

Economy

Toronto Stock Exchange higher at open as energy stocks gain

Published

 on

Toronto Stock Exchange edged higher at open on Wednesday as heavyweight energy stocks advanced, while data showing a plunge in domestic retail sales in April and May capped the gains.

* At 9:30 a.m. ET (13:30 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 16.77 points, or 0.08%, at 20,217.42.

(Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Continue Reading

Trending