MEJN urges enhanced human capital development

The Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) has emphasised the need for serious investments in health and education for the country to register positive trajectory in growth.

In an interview with Business News on Wednesday, Mejn executive director Dalitso Kubalasa said human capital remains a critical factor in production but rational use of the same enhances economic growth.

“If this capital is rationally used, the economy will be growing. All of that will have a contribution to this positive trajectory we are projecting in the economy and that’s the key driver for the economy growth we want to see.

“Therefore, the country has to invest more in the education sector at all levels particularly targeting the youth because they are the chunk of the society that can contribute to growth,” said Kubalasa.

Malawi has moved five steps up ranking  109 out of 130 economies in 2017  Global Human Capital Index as published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) from 114 in 2016.

The Global Human Capital Report, an annual publication by WEF, takes into account the knowledge and skills people possess that enable them to create value in the global economic system to measure the ‘human capital’ rank of a country.

The 2017 report measures 130 countries against four key areas of human capital development; capacity as determined by past investment in formal education, deployment as measured by the accumulation of skills through work,  development as determined by the continued up skilling and re-skilling of existing workers and know-how determined by the specialised skills-use at work.

Despite the improvements, the country still ranks poorly on the index, ranking 122 on development, 117 on the know-how and 109 on capacity. The country however ranks highly in the top 15 on deployment rate.

According to the report, the country’s public spending on education as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) stands at 5.6 percent and there is poor enrolment in schools.

Overall, the report notes that 62 percent of human capital has now been developed globally and efforts to fully realise people’s economic potential, in countries at all stages of economic development, are falling short due to failures to translate investment in education during the formative years into opportunities for higher-quality work during the working lifetime.

“Accumulation of skills does not end at a formal education, and the continuous application and accumulation of skills through work is part of human capital development,” reads the report in part.

With an overall average score of 52.97, the sub-Saharan Africa region is the lowest ranked region in the Index.

The overall list was topped by Norway, followed by Finland and Switzerland in second and third place respectively. Other countries in the top 10 include the United States, Denmark, Germany and Austria. n

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