Africa’s vast workforce has been an attractive economic indicator for the global economy for years, although a focus on urbanisation and talent development is crucial to ensure that this economic potential is realised. Mercer has met with senior experts to discuss strategies to achieve this goal in Nigeria.
The median age of Africa’s population is currently the youngest across the globe, and a majority of this demographic is set to enter the working age over the next half a decade. As a result, much has been said amongst experts about how the region is set to emerge as a centre of economic growth.
Health and wealth management consultancy Mercer has been active in its efforts to engage with the region. The firm’s focus has been on entering the market for human resources across the continent, supporting clients in a number of different countries with developing innovative strategies.
Alongside an overall commitment to ensure that the workforce of tomorrow is diverse and equal, the firm is now engaged in specific human resources partnerships in some of the largest economies in Africa. These include strategic partnerships Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the firm operates in collaboration with EZ37 Solutions, and has been working actively to develop policies to secure the future workforce. The recent event, which was held in a hotel in Lagos, is looking to ensure that the major urban areas across the continent play a central role in the future of the economy.
Commenting on the motivation behind the event, Deon de Swardt, Principal Consultant at Mercer said, “Employers need to lead multi-stakeholder efforts to address pain points at scale. We need to start the transformation with tangible programs that will make an impact and change the mindset.”
The firm is also determined to ensure that the employees remain the focus of an organisation, despite the rapid wave of digitalisation sweeping across the continent. Such an approach is the only way to develop a sustainable business environment, according to the firm.
“While technology is vital, it is important to put people first. Technology is an entry point to compete, but human skills will accelerate the technology to succeed,” explains Pearly Stiffel, Leader for Strategy and Geographic Expansion at Mercer.