Africa: when the blue economy generates jobs

Contrary to what stereotypes and misperceptions “Afro-pessimistic” have here and there, Africa is full of potential. Actually, it is not a coincidence that more and more investors have set their eyes on the black continent to do business. Talking about great potential, the blue economy have plenty of it in terms of investment so jobs. Therefore the blue economy generates jobs in Africa and is dedicated to reducing the unemployment rate in the black continent.  According to experts, approximately 23 million of people work in the fishing sector. It ensures food safety for more than 200 million of people and generates an added value of 24 billion dollars so a 1.26 GDP of all the African countries. Experts believe that the blue economy in Africa plays an important part in promoting a substainable economic growth with ressources coming from the ocean, waterways, lakes and other water related ressources. It makes more sense knowing that 38 of the 54 countries in Africa, are coastal countries and 90% of exports and imports go by sea. Because of this, some observers considers the blue economy as “ the new line of development in Africa”.

Millions of direct jobs


The fishing sectors generates millions of direct jobs and induced employment. This goes from processing to packaging, fish nets and engines making, ice supplying, the building and maintenance of ships. Actually, the economic role of that sector has been confirmed by WorldFish center research institute based in Malaysia that tells us that in Uganda for example, fishing in lakes brings more than 200 million of dollars every year which represents 2.2 of the GDP of the country. That sector of activity has 135 000 fishermen working and 700 000 people working in the processing and fish trading and making 87.5 million of dollars exports revenues.


A sector that is mainly controlled by foreign companies 


If there is something that observers have all noticed is the fact that the blue economy in Africa is mainly controlled by foreign companies. Statistics from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) confirm that statement by showing that even though the potential is obvious in Africa, it is however a rather low fish producer and is only ranked 4 on the worldwide scale with 4 500 00 tons. Continental fish is mainly done in Africa especially in Africa’s big lakes regions (Uganda and Tanzania) and Nigeria for river fishing. This sector would benefit more from opening up to local fishermen so the blue economy can even more contribute in reducing poverty in Africa. It is therefore necessary to have a better participation of locals in the sector.


Africa: more than 3 million jobs expected by 2025 thanks to e-business

In a world where economy is now highly digitalized, e-business have generated 1.462 billion of euros in 2014 with China and the USA on top. Africa is also part of the movement. Therefore, in the black continent, e-business have reached more than 50 billion in 2018. Despise the digital divide that defines the continent, this business that consist in buying and selling goods and services on the internet is booming in Africa. Indeed, only 26% of the population in Africa has access to internet. Moreover, e-business looks into being a real tool in reducing the unemployment rate. That is at least what a new study from Boston Consulting group revealed. According to them, a collaboration between the private and public sector in Africa could unlock the potential of e-business and boost up the economy of the African continent and create up to 3 million jobs by 2025.

From the conclusion of that report called « how can digital marketplaces propel jobs in Africa » and published by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), digital marketplaces like Jumia Souq, Thundafund and Travelstart could create 3 million new jobs by 2025 in Africa. « Those ‘e-business’ websites that connect buyers and suppliers of goods and services, could also increase the revenues and facilitate the international economic growth all without disturbing the activity of the existing companies », the report added.

Africa is lucky enough to have a very young population and an emerging middle class which represents the perfect environment for e-business . However there are lots to do in order to give a real boost to e-business. The study of the e-business ecosystem in Africa helps us realise that this sector has a long way to go in the black continent. For example, in the report, for the digital marketplaces to really reach their full potential in Africa, public and private sectors must first work together to create a suitable digital environment. It also lets us know that in Africa approximately 58% of new jobs will be in the consumer goods sector, 18% in mobility services and 9 % in travelling and hospitality.

The obstacles that the expansion of e-business in Africa could be facing are, according to the report, the lack of infrastructures, of regulatory clarity and a limited access to certain markets. Policy makers, on the other hand, are concerned about issues related to securing citizens personal data and the possible risk of disturbance in the sectors of activity.

Nonetheless, despite the obstacles, we can hope for an evolution of e-business in Africa and in turn, the creation of new jobs in this continent that has become the main destination of investors. The Young Africans should therefore seize this good opportunity that e-business is offering to boost their chances of having a job. In order to do that, it is necessary to get a training in ICT.


How to handle tricky questions during job interviews?

We are often confronted with tricky questions during job interviews and answering them is not an easy task. Are we allowed to lie in that specific situation? For example can we say that we left our former employee on good terms when it is actually the opposite? However it is, no answer that could possibly mess up your chances of getting the job should be given. But how do we handle it? Find our tips in the following paragraphs.

Can we lie to avoid a tricky question during the job interview?

First and foremost, we should keep in mind that no matter how difficult the question is, liying is not wanted nor recommended during the interview. The only lie that recruiters can tolerate at the most is lying through omission. And that is understandable since an interview is after all a sale. In that sense we have the right and the obligation to display a product at its best. It is therefore useless and stupid to talk about all our imperfections,  to reveal our professional plans when it doesn’t benefit the company. This is at least according to expert Patrice Ras, author of « Grand livre de l’entretien d’embauche» published by Studyrama.

How to talk about our former job when it didn’t end well?

The rule is to absolutely avoid saying bad things about our ex boss. Keep in mind to never bash your former enployer, says Patrice Ras. Adding also that « if however, the recruiter wants to know the exact reason why the candidate left, he can talk about it without getting into the details and without whining: throwing too much shade on your ex employer can often look bad on your side ». You must nevertheless remember that employer are not gullible , they are very much aware of the realities of the working world and especially about the behavior of some managers who tend to be nasty, too demanding, unfair and harassing. So you can talk about a professional relationship that didn’t end up well with tact and grace because the recruiter feeling any sense of hate in your speech could make you look bad.

How to explain a long period of unemployment to the recruiter?

This question also is delicate, in a sense. Some people go as far as changing the dates in their C.V to hide it out and avoid the question. This option is not recommended because there is a high risk for the company to find it out and see you as someone being fraudulent. When confronted to that situation, it is better if you clearly explain why you were not selected during previous job interviews. Point out all the different procedures you have been through and how motivated you are. That would make the person you will be talking to have a good feeling about you. So according to Patrice Ras HR expert, the job interview is actually the best moment to bring light to those periods of inactivity and turn the question to you advantage by showing that you are still active and positive despite the setbacks. Human qualities that recruiters appreciate.

Avoid definite and closed answers…

When asked to know about their career plan, many candidates get it all wrong because they think that we expect from them to give a closed and definite answer like «  I will become a C.E.O ». Quite to the contrary, what matters for the recruiter is to know about your plans in terms of your career. Therefore, you must be able to present your arguments by stating every major facts and trying to put a date limit for every goal. The candidate must be able to give an account of every major step of his career. The answer should come out naturally. Therefore, try to show how, where, what and when you plan on reaching your career goals. You must justify them by all means because they don’t expect you to just give empty promises. 

Be consistent…

When you are presenting your career plan to the recruiter, it is important to always be consistent and realistic. The answer that you give should be the result of a medium term well detailed career plan. It should be something that has been thought through. For that reason, it is recommended not to say things like «  it is hard for me to plan for the future, it is so uncertain that I might give you a wrong answer ». That answer that you probably find extremely wise is actually seen as a headlong rush for the recruiter who will definitely not appreciate it.

Do not confuse ambitious and pretentious…

It is clear that a recruiter will always appreciate having an ambitious candidate, but be careful not to do too much and have him confuse ambitious with pretentious. The ambition needs to be realistic. You must keep your feet on the ground to show to the recruiter that you are capable of taking yourself to other lands. In other words, he will appreciate for you to have your wishes and your passion but also take in consideration the situation of the professional market  when you present your career plan. Either way, you should keep in mind that the question about your career plan is the perfect opportunity for your recruiter to test you in terms of planing ahead of time. Avoid going overboard and having over the top goals. In brief, you need to be ambitious but without doing too much. Once again be realistic because it is the perfect opportunity for you to be so.


How to become a successful negociater as a salesman ?

Having salesmen with great negociation skills is a recipe for success for a company. The art of negociaion is not limited to the world of sales only actually. It touches all parts of life, from the life of a couple, a life of politics, to a life in business or even a family life. Nowadays, the fact that they are plenty of training courses aiming at maximizing the chances of being a good negotiator in terms of business, is proof of how important it is especially for a salesman for who it represents a good deal. For salesmen in deed, having a successful negociation means managing to establish a long lasting relationship with the clients and the partners. It is therefore crucial for the salesman to be on top of the game when it comes to negociation so he can fully understand it and find ways to improve the skills in that department.


Good negociation comes with good preparation

The first thing you need to know is that as a salesman, it is essential to be rightfully prepared before you start a process of negociation. To do so you will need specific coaching and management from salesmen managers. This would mean for a salesman who cares about being the best at négociations, to be fully prepared and know the product perfectly, the market and the needs of potential clients. The preparation requires a certain analytical mind, an intellectual curiosity, reasoning skills especially when the negotiations are about a specific subject.

Knowing how to improve and develop your emotional intelligence

As a part of the soft skills intelligence, emotional intelligence is something very important especially in  negotiation. Emotional intelligence comes with control of yourself and your emotions in order to handle negotiations in the best conditions. This quality comes handy in situations where you find it hard to close a deal with a client. Self-confidence and empathy are more than needed in that type of situation. The best negotiators are the ones with the best emotional intelligence. It can be improved by getting coaches that will give you training and specific advices. Also, determination and a strong will to persuade are very important qualities that facilitators look for.It does not mean that salesman who don’t have those qualities are not good negociators. It is never too late to overcome our own weakness by planing specific tactics to do so.

You can also read Ways to successfully and truthfully explain gaps in your CV during an interview ?


Well-being in the workplace: Where do we stand in Africa?

Following the succession of suicides of some workers that shook France in 2007, the topic regarding quality of life in the workplace is not something that Management takes lightly anymore. People merely talked about it before but these dramatic event that occured, make them realise how well-being in the workplace plays a key role in motivating the worker. It is not a secret anymore that nothing great can happen if the worker is in a working environment where he is feeling down and is stressed out constantly. Actually, some companies have understood it very well. That is the reason why they put in place some mechanisms to encourage the well-being of their employees. The same is true for African companies. However it is sad to see that it underlines a deeper issue that doesn’t seem important. Many African companies have yet to find a way to deal with the matter effectively.

A wake of interest from the World Health Organization about the concept of well-being at the workplace.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is very much concerned with the issue of well-being at the workplace and gave an official definition to describe it. It is defined as “ A state of mind where there is a quite good balance between the skills, needs and aspirations of the worker and the pressure and opportunities at the workplace. Basically “well-being at the workplace”refers to all elements that could potentially have an impact on the working conditions of the employees. It includes security, hygiene of the premises, health protection of workers, the physical and mental effects of the tasks carried out, workplace ergonomics etc. According to the Administrator of Syntec and president of the consulting firm Stimulus, David Mahé who published a look out about stress at the workplace “there is 2 types of stimulation, one that gives meaning to what we do and another that is about duty. Being committed is about the meaning and the enjoyment.”Despise all that, in Africa, many companies struggle to adapt to that reality.

 A theoretical approach of the issue of well-being at the workplace for many African companies

Officially in Africa, many companies talk about the interest they have on the well-being of their employees. However, if we pay more attention to it, we notice that there is a gap between the declarations of interest and the reality. Progress is not for pretend anymore. African companies really need to commit themselves to finding ways to improve the working conditions. It is about, putting the human being in the center of the values of the company for its own sake and for the sake of the co-workers.

You can also read Professional retraining in Africa


Africa strong private sector for an inclusive growth

Today, decision makers in Africa are very much concerned about the well being and the rise of the private sector. Because of how determining they are, they play an important role in the plannings about economy and social transformation politics.