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Why IMF is predicting record-breaking unemployment rates for Africa’s largest economies

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In what can be only described as bad news, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has come out to say that the unemployment rates in Africa’s two largest economies are going to hit new highs never experienced. The grave implication of this piece of news sinks further in when one considers the unemployment rate currently in place. In Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy, the unemployment rate is already at alarming 14% while South Africa, the second largest economy, it is over 27%.

According to the IMF, these rates will further explode to all-time records highs due to certain factors working in synergy to make finding employment unavailable, especially for youths. First, the working age bracket in the region is exploding more than ever before. “By 2035, sub-Saharan Africa will have more working-age people than the rest of the world’s regions combined,” the IMF wrote in a blog post.

A second factor working against working age population in the region is the inability of the governments in those countries to stimulate the development of their economies so as to produce more jobs. The informal economy, consisting of trades like street vendors, household workers and off-the-radar cash jobbers was hitherto responsible for sucking up most of the unemployed people, with the IMF estimating that they were responsible for as much as 38% of gross domestic product in 2010-14.

While this may sound like hope, in reality, it is cause for concern as it represents a decline from nearly 45% in 1991-99 period. Furthermore, the “lack of protection in the event of non-payment of wages, compulsory overtime or extra shifts, lay-offs without notice or compensation, unsafe working conditions and the absence of social benefits” associated with the informal sector mean that less and less people are being engaged in it.

Thus, with an upward spiral in working age population and a downward spiral in the availability of adequate employment opportunities, the IMF sees no other choice than peak unemployment rates, which in turn would lead to economic, security and migration problems. Unless of course, the governments rise up to the challenge.

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Chacha Wabara-Ogbobine is a Legal practitioner with over 9years post call experience. A research Consultant, professional writer and a blogger at heart,owner of four thriving websites with well over 10years of experience. Totally in love with keeping fit and coaching weight loss enthusiasts. I love my quiet time, being with my kids, watching TV series for hours on end.

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Economy & Politics

WTO: US opposing consensus to declare Okonjo-Iweala as DG – Foreign Affairs Ministry

The Ministry announced Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of the majority of the member nations but is being opposed by the US.

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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, World Bank, Davos, World Economic Forum, WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo-Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt,WTO:  Happy to be in final rounds of DG Campaign- Okonjo Iweala

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement that Nigeria’s candidate for Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has secured the support of the majority of the member-nations – but is yet to be declared and returned as the winner, as the United States is opposing the consensus.

This was announced in a statement by the Ministry on Thursday evening to inform the nation that the third and final round of the selection process of the WTO DG position was formally announced on Wednesday 28th October 2020.

READ: This is what Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is up against

What you should know

Nairametrics reported this week that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is close to being appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

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A group of ambassadors also known as “troika” had proposed Okonjo-Iweala to lead the WTO giving her a clear path to becoming the first woman to head the WTO since it started 25 years ago. The three ambassadors are thought to wield significant powers in determining what is a very “intricate and opaque” process.

READ: #EndSARS: Access Bank announces N50 billion interest-free facility for businesses

The U.S President, Donald Trump blocked the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the WTO’s next DG on Wednesday, citing support for South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

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Dr. Okonjo-Iweala stated that she is positive despite hiccups in her bid to emerge as the next DG of the organization. She said, “Happy for the success & continued progress of our WTO DG bid. Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members and most likely to attract consensus. We move on to the next step on Nov 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going.”

READ: WTO: Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala gets European Union support

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in its statement that, “Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of the majority of the member countries, but is yet to be declared and returned the winner. This is because apart from winning the election, all 164 Member States of WTO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus. In accordance with the rile of the procedure of the WTO.”

It is important to highlight that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.

READ: Transport Ministry to share N10 billion palliative scheme

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The Ministry added that a meeting would be held by the General Council of the WTO on the 9th of November 2020 to declare a final decision on the election process.

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Economy & Politics

WTO: Okonjo-Iweala says she is positive despite hiccups

Okonjo-Iweala has announced her excitement about being declared candidate with the largest and broadest support among members.

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WTO, Okonjo-Iweala joins South Africa's presidential economic advisory council as nation struggles with recession, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala officially declared candidate with the largest and broadest support among members

In an optimistic outlook, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has declared that she is positive despite hiccups in her bid to emerge the next Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO).

As the candidate with the largest, and broadest support among members of WTO and most likely to attract consensus, she is optimistic that success is hers.

This was revealed by the former coordinating minister of the Economy herself, through her verified Twitter page.

READ: Trans-Nationwide Express Plc suffers N79 million loss in Q3 2020

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Backstory: Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported that Okonjo Iweala is close to being appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

This is after a rigorous selection process that has seen the former minister of Finance scale through a lot of hurdles, making it to the top two.

READ: Why Okonjo-Iweala should win the WTO DG role – Prof. Moghalu

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What you should know: According to a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the third and final round of the selection process of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was concluded on Tuesday, 27 October 2020 and the result was announced on Wednesday, 28th October 2020.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala secured the support of the majority of the member-countries but is yet to be declared and returned the winner.

This is because apart from winning the election, all 164 member-states of WTO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus, in accordance with the rule of procedure of the WTO.

It is important to highlight that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.

(READ MORE: WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo-Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt)

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A meeting of the General Council of the WTO has been scheduled for 9th November, 2020 for the final decision on the election process.

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What they are saying: Expressing her optimism in winning the race, Dr. Okono-Iweala said: “Happy for the success & continued progress of our @wto DG bid. Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members & most likely to attract consensus. We move on to the next step on Nov 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going.”

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala close to being announced as new DG of WTO

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is expected to be announced as the new DG of the World Trade Organisation.

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WTO, Nigeria’s former finance minister, Okonjo-Iweala, gets IMF appointment

Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonji-Iweala, is close to being appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

READ: Okonjo-Iweala gets Organised private sector’s endorsement for WTO job

According to Reuters, a group of ambassadors also known as “troika” has proposed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to lead the WTO giving her a clear path to becoming the first woman to head the WTO since it started 25 years ago. The three ambassadors are thought to wield significant powers in determining what is a very “intricate and opaque” process.

READ: Buhari assures Okonjo-Iweala that the country will push until she emerges WTO DG

Most Nigerian Media houses have already announced NOI as the winner of the process even though this is yet to be made official by the WTO.

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The winner for the role of DG of WTO is expected to be announced formally by the WTO later today.

However, there appears to be a new twist, in the expected announcement of her emergence as the new Director-General of the WTO.

The United States through its representative at the WTO has insisted that the South Korean candidate is still in contention and that Washington will not recognize Okonjo-Iweala as the consensus candidate for appointment as Director-General.

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As a result, the General Counsel of WTO, postponed the announcement of a new Director-General until November 9, after the US presidential election, after further consultations would have been made.

The announcement of Okonjo-Iweala, who is reported to have gotten the support of a vast majority of members states, including the EU, Japan and China, as the new boss of the World Trade Organization, would have been a huge boost for Africa

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