Gender parity could boost African economies: Report

KIGALI, Rwanda

Accelerating efforts toward gender parity could boost African economies by 10% of their collective gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025, according to a new report released on Tuesday.

The report by the McKinsey Global Institute was launched at the ongoing Global Gender Summit in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.

The authors examined the potential boost to African economic growth as a result of accelerating efforts toward gender equality.

After analyzing gender equality performance in 39 African economies, they found that Africa has not advanced women’s equality over the past four years.

Women account for more than 50% of Africa’s population but generate only 33% of GDP as of year 2018 — due to high gender inequality both at the workplace and in society, the report said.

Gender equality remained on different levels on the continent with Rwanda, South Africa, Ethiopia and Namibia having relatively higher gender equality compared to Mauritania, Niger and Mali.

“Africa could add $316 billion to its GDP by 2025 with gender equality in every country,” the report showed.

Investing sufficient resources in girls’ education and in women’s skills as well as their digital, financial, and legal literacy are some of the priorities where Africa needs to put focus.

It said any drive toward gender parity in Africa should start with efforts to change entrenched and widespread attitudes about women’s role in society.

“Gender equality is not a western agenda, it is not somebody else’s agenda; it’s a global agenda for growth, for inclusive growth, for economic development, for society to thrive,” said Vanessa Moungar, director for Women, Gender, and Civil Society of the African Development Bank.
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