#EarlySignals - December 2022

12 December 2022


Our monthly selection of news, quotes and figures that slipped through the radar but could have significant implications


Companies must pay up to 1% of their monthly payroll to fund vocational training in Mozambique

The Mozambican Parliament adopted on 24 November a reform of the Professional Education law. The bill introduces a new tax of 1% of the monthly payroll of companies that will finance the national fund for professional training. Will the financial contribution of the private sector in national vocational training policies become widespread in Africa? Several countries on the continent, such as South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria, have training funds financed by the private sector. Despite the existence of such funds, youth unemployment remains high. In Nigeria, it stood at 42.5% in 2021. According to a Deloitte study, one of the challenges remains the gap between the skills acquired by graduates and the real needs of companies. Given the new skills, particularly the digital ones, that will be required for the jobs of tomorrow, training will be a major challenge for the African continent.  


“We are building the largest cobalt refinery in the world, which will allow us to increase the value of exported cobalt by up to 40%. It is also something that will completely change our economy. It means that if cobalt prices fall, we won't suffer dramatically because we won't just be selling cobalt. We will sell the know-how, we will sell the added value, that is to say the finished product. And that is preparing for the future.” The Minister of Finance of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nicolas Kazadi
At a press conference on 22 November, DRC Finance Minister Nicolas Kazadi confirmed the country's ambition to build the world's largest cobalt refining plant. The DRC is also reportedly considering producing battery components by 2025. In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine, many African countries have made the processing of raw materials a priority to make their economies more resilient to exogenous shocks. Yet, while the DRC is a competitive destination due to its low engineering and procurement costs, several barriers to investment, including the lack of electricity infrastructure, remain. Thus, the winner of the December 2023 presidential election will be challenged to improve the infrastructure needed to develop an electric battery industry.  


200 billion: Boston Consulting Group estimates the value of climate change adaptation projects in Africa

The Boston Consulting Group has estimated the value of bankable climate change adaptation projects in Africa at nearly USD 200 billion, or one-third of the projects in the South. This amount contrasts with the difficulties encountered by initiatives such as the Great Green Wall, which lacks projects to finance. Today, most funded projects focus on farmland restoration in rural areas. In order to carry out the adaptation process, targeting projects will become a priority. But where to find them? According to BCG, adaptation projects on the continent will need to focus on urban resilience through building resilient infrastructure and communities. The recent floods in Nigeria are an example of the emphasis that should be placed on urban planning in African cities.