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More Jobs through Investing in Human Capital

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More than 84% of the world’s workforce lives in developing countries. This share continues to grow. Africa must generate two million jobs each month by 2040 to meet its growing workforce needs. In South Asia, over one million people reach working age every month. Countries have an opportunity to improve both the quantity and quality of jobs. Today, 7 out of 10 workers in developing countries work in jobs that often lack financial and job security.
Investing in human capital means equipping people with knowledge, good health, and skills so they can take on the jobs of today and create the jobs of the future. When countries and communities invest in people, they create a strong workforce that’s able to grow and adapt to global shifts including technological transformation and climate change.

Panelists discussed solutions that can boost job creation & entrepreneurship. All panelists agreed that skilling people and removing barriers for women and young people are critical. Mamta Murthi, World Bank Vice President for Human Development, advised governments to prioritize investments in people because those human capital investments can provide some of the highest returns. Governments can also facilitate international labor mobility, while the private sector can help by engaging in more skills partnerships.

Amal Hassan, Founder and CEO, Outsource Global of Nigeria, spoke of her company’s dedication to intentionally upskilling employees for success. Fellow entrepreneur and job creator Basima Abdulrahman, Founder & CEO of KESK, an Iraqi solar energy company, agreed on the importance of skilling and emphasized employee empowerment. She shared how it was on-the-job experience which allowed her to thrive despite the bias she experienced as a woman leader in a high-tech field.

Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Senior Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships, stressed how investments across the lifecycle, especially education, but also access to credit, digitalization and reliable infrastructure are critical to solving the jobs challenge. Countries, he emphasized, should give entrepreneurs—women and youth especially—the conditions to succeed.

[Rachelle Akuffo] Hello, and welcome to the 2023 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF. I'm Rachelle Akuffo, Anchor for Yahoo Finance, and we are live from Marrakesh, Morocco. Now, before we start, I want to acknowledge the devastating earthquake that took place in Morocco last month. At this very difficult time, we are here to stand by Morocco and its people. Now, over the next hour, we'll be discussing human capital. And more specifically, we'll be talking about the importance of human capital, that is, people's health, education and skills to create jobs. You can share your thoughts on this topic anytime using the hashtag #WBmeetings. Please, send us your questions either online at, or in person using the QR codes you see displayed in front of you. Now, before we're joined by our esteemed panel, we have a short video to really help us frame this conversation and really set out the magnitude of the challenge and opportunity ahead.

[Video starts] [Narrator in video] Here's an idea. An idea worth a billion. One that will lead to the best innovations you've ever seen. The most powerful thinking that'll redefine the future, helping you and your country grow by billions. Do we have your attention? One word: people. Your future workforce is already born. One billion of them. People eager to be their best selves. People ready to shape what our world will look like. We, at the World Bank Human Capital Project, a movement that has grown from 28 countries to 90 countries strong, see people as tomorrow's solutions. What they need today is strong human capital. They need quality education, good health, skills. They need you to make sure our future is in her good hands. His good hands. Their good hands. A billion good hands. Are you ready to join us? To enable a billion livelihoods? To create a billion jobs? To build a billion dreams? [Video ends] [Audience applauds]

[Rachelle Akuffo] Now, remember that throughout the program, you can share your thoughts online using the hashtag #WBmeetings. Now, let's dive right into the conversation. Please, join me in welcoming Mamta Murthi, Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank. Amal Hassan, Founder and CEO of Outsource Global based in Nigeria. Basima Abdulrahman, CEO of KESK in Iraq. And Axel van Trotsenburg, Senior Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships at the World Bank. Welcome to you all. [Audience applauds]

[Mamta Murthi] Thank you.

[Rachelle Akuffo] Now, our video made clear the scope of the situation that we face. Between now and the year 2050, one billion people, all in developing countries, will be added to the working age population. So, Mamta, I want to first start with you. You just wrapped a closed- door discussion with the Human Capital Network Ministers of Finance on how we can invest in people as job creators and innovators. Can you share your key takeaways from that discussion.

[Mamta Murthi] Thank you so much. I'm absolutely delighted to be here. For those of you who don't know the Human Capital Project, this is our fifth birthday. We have been in existence for five years. I'm absolutely delighted that we have seen the network of countries who are interested in investing in people grow from 28 to 91 today. Now, we just finished a very interesting discussion active, animated, lively, on investing in people for job creation. And the reason for that discussion is that developing countries face a huge challenge in creating jobs, because there will be one billion people entering the labor force in these countries between now and 2050. And what's clear is that while you need a competitive economy, you need access to finance, you need infrastructure, you also need skilled people. Skilled people to engage in productive activity and skilled people to create jobs. So, there was a lot of attention on education, skills and vocational training, but also, on connecting people to jobs. Because many people are simply not able to access the jobs that are available. There was also a lot of emphasis on removing the barriers that women and young people face in accessing the labor market. There were talks about how to access jobs in the international labor market, not just in the domestic labor market, and last but not least, how to support entrepreneurship. It was a very lively and active discussion with Ministers learning from each other on what they can do.

[Rachelle Akuffo] And I think people should also remember that investing in human capital has a compound impact that goes beyond just the person getting this investment, but also across generations. So, I want to bring in an entrepreneur here. Amal, you have a remarkable story as a business leader and entrepreneur. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey in becoming an entrepreneur and how you built the skills that you needed to start your business?

[Amal Hassan] Thank you very much. It's really an honor to be here today talking to all of you. My name is Amal Hassan, as she mentioned, I'm the Founder and CEO of Outsource Global. Outsource is a business process outsourcing company. We provide BPO services and other services like IT services, software development as a service, customer service, and telemarketing to companies in US, UK, Japan, and Africa. I started my career with an IT Training Center in the Northern part of Nigeria, Kano. And after training a lot of IT professionals, I realized that I'm not changing their lives. They come into the centers, they get trained in MCSE, Oracle and all these big IT courses, and they go back into the market without a job. I started researching on what I could do to create employment. And I was dealing with a lot of Indians at the time, and I realized that business process outsourcing provides millions of jobs to Indians. America has been outsourcing their customer service to India since 1980. And I said, “Why not Nigeria?” And I started moving towards establishing the company. It took me eight years to start the company. I started it four times and failed. But we went live in June 2016, and today we are 1500 employees and 50% are women. I need to mention that. [Audience applauds]

[Manta Murthi] One of the things we have done right from day one is that we called our establishment “Establishing Excellence.” How do we compete? How do we compete with India? What are the things that are required for us to be able to serve the international market? Not just America, but we were focused on America, which is a very big market. One of the things we've done from day one is create our training team. What do we have in the market? Nigeria graduates are a million graduate every year with different skill sets, but they have to be upskilled to be employed, to be put on a client's campaign. We put in a structured training, from communication skills to attention to details, to time management, to critical thinking for them to be able to be enrolled into a client specific training. This is just before going live into the training of a client. I'm going to later talk about… Do I still have time? I'm going to talk about the different kinds of trainings. But after one year of operations, I still realized that graduates in Nigeria do not want to come in after studying Accounting, Software, Legal, after being lawyers, to be customer service representative and sales. I changed the business model. We changed the business model to a partnership model. We see ourselves as growth partners to our clients. Whatever skill sets or employees you require to grow, we'll find the right skill sets in Nigeria. So, we started with Legal. We take lawyers in Nigeria. We have a partner that trains people on the gap training to be able to serve the US market. We looked at different kinds of training. It started with paralegals. Today, those lawyers are doing much more than paralegal work. We looked at Accounting also as a service. And we partnered with somebody that has designed a project, a program basically to upskill our accountants in Nigeria to be able to serve the international markets. And we looked at the US again as a market. So, the same thing with Software Development also as a service. So…

[Rachelle Akuffo] Yes.

[Manta Murthi] Okay, you'll come back to me.

[Rachelle Akuffo] Yes, I will definitely come back to you. And it's obviously helpful to get those examples of what's possible. As you mentioned, continuing upskilling is needed to adapt to the current environment. Basima, I want to bring you in here, could you tell us about how human capital has been important to your own journey as an entrepreneur, and also, how you were able to develop the skills that you needed to succeed, especially in a very challenging environment?

[Basima Abdulrahman] Thanks, Rachelle. I will talk from my personal journey. There is a misconception that successful entrepreneurs will have to come from a privileged background. They will usually think that who made it into entrepreneurship, establishing their business, must have had top-tier education and training to get to that level. I personally received education from public schools and universities in Iraq, but I managed to utilize all the resources that are available to advance my skills. Back in 2008, I graduated and I joined the public sector. After one year into working with the government sector, I'd realized that it's was not my calling, so, I applied for a scholarship. I did my Masters in the US, I came back during ISIS time, the country was going through a difficult time, and I decided that I was really passionate about green building and green practices. I started applying for grants multiple times to go abroad and get professional training in green building practices. And at some point, I decided to establish my business. I knew I didn't have that kind of practical experience in establishing and running a business, but I also realized that experience comes from taking action, doing. And I've realized that there would never be the perfect time and I would never be in the perfect situation, professionally and personally, to establish a business. That's why I decided that, “let me start, give it the chance, and I will learn by doing.” And thankfully, it's been wonderful. Four years and a half so far. We have an installation capacity… We're a solar energy company. We synergize solar energy solutions with software solutions for solar energy assets management. We have an installation capacity that reached up to 1 MW annually, and we're expanding. And that's with only 5% of the market share.

[Rachelle Akuffo] And you raise a fantastic point about not waiting for this perfect moment, which essentially doesn't exist, but really starting where you are and seeking out the resources. I'm glad that you brought that up. Now, we know that human capital is critical to economic development, but just how much impact could it actually have? Well, the World Bank estimates that if everyone was able to achieve their potential through knowledge, skills, and good health, and if more people worked in jobs that made the most of their human capital, we could more than triple productivity and income. So, Axel, I want to bring you in here, because given what you've just heard about opportunities at the country level, how is the World Bank investing in human capital for more jobs?

[Axel van Trotsenburg] Well, I think it comes from two sides. And actually, we have had here at the Annual Meetings a lot of talk about the reform of multilateral institutions, about our new mission. And one of the components of the mission is also inclusion, and that is particularly on human development and jobs. And what we see is absolutely essential. We see the potential of human capital, and then jobs. And I just wanted to remind people about this. Fifty or sixty years ago, when we looked at the world, including in Asia, there was sometimes a bit of a doom and gloom, and sometimes you hear that again these days. A famous Nobel Prize winner, a Swedish economist, Gunnar Myrdal, wrote a book about Asian drama, and essentially condemned the whole continent. They said, “Well, they will never develop. India or Southeast Asia couldn't feed themselves; they couldn't pull themselves out of, they couldn't create jobs, there will only be corruption, et cetera.” And now you see where they are today, which is good not always to rely on economists for their advice. But what is actually essential is the systematic investment in human capital, and that is on education, but ultimately in the entire infrastructure. It is not in education that you say, “Well, we start there to think about primary, and then maybe secondary.” You need the entire chain. And maybe, actually, starting from prenatal care to postnatal care, so that these kids get actually fat well. Because, unfortunately, malnutrition is still one of the main obstacles for kids or young people to get good jobs, because sometimes their intellectual development is being retarded because of malnutrition. So, we cannot only say, “You go to school,” they need to be well fed. We need to care for them. Even from pre-K, you need to stimulate these kids, and then you can get is actually fantastic results. One of the things is that, as a society, we need to be totally committed to this, but not only in education, at the beginning, but we have to continue in secondary, tertiary education. Today, it’s continuous learning. Because today, you no longer have a job and you know you will be in the same job forever, you will need to change skills and that value chain needs to be created. But what we just heard is also we need to believe in people, and particularly we need to believe in women. Ajay mentioned that today at his Annual Meeting speech, “It is a bit difficult to deny all the women and girls the same rights and possibilities. Actually, we are foregoing economic welfare, because so many women are denied all the opportunities they should get.” And if we could only complement the entrepreneurship of women and men, we may actually be a lot more successful on this. And also, as societies, there has to be a deliberate move towards empowering more women, and then for the younger people. It is not only for young female entrepreneurs, but also for all the young entrepreneurs. The possibilities are giving access to credit, access to infrastructure, meaning electricity. Keep in mind that in Africa still 600 million people have no access to electricity. So, it’s better access to Internet, digitalization. The younger generations also need the toolkit to succeed. And we cannot only see that on education. We need to see the whole part, and I believe that very often, this is a problem that we see in one dimension, but it's multidimensional. But I think that what both of you are seeing is that there is an incredible potential out there that can transform. And our challenge, not only as an institution, is what we can actually do to stimulate it. This is not only comparing notes on this, but also in our dialogues with governments to see, “Can actually governments change policies that actually are pro?” Use entrepreneurs and provide the necessary conditions so that they could succeed. That doesn't mean that companies will fail. That is okay. But I think what you need to give is also belief. I think sometimes people don't believe enough in their younger generations.

[Rachelle Akuffo] And it's true. And those are the investments that do need to grow as the needs grow to really unlock that potential that people have and meet those needs, instead of them being siloed and not to look at the big picture. Amal, I want to bring you back in here, because entrepreneurs like you not only create jobs, but you also give back by taking what you've learned to build the skills of your team. Can you talk about how you leverage your own human capital to then invest in your company's people?

[Amal Hassan] Thank you very much. I think I touched a little bit on it. So, what we have done after one year of providing customer service and sales, I looked at the different people that graduate in Nigeria every year, one million graduates with different skill sets. We can actually serve the world from Nigeria. And I started partnering with experts in different professions. We started with software development as a service. And we got a partner in Silicon Valley that created a program. We worked together to create a structured learning program that trains our team based on the needs of companies in Silicon Valley. So, there has to be an intentionally setting up of the curriculum based on how they're going to be employable, how they are going to be employed. We structured that learning and we tested it, and we outsourced IT, right? And we added data to it, data analysis. And now we've added AI to those who are going to work with us. So, that's one thing. We have trained them and we have outsourced them. And everybody we have trained in the early days have been outsourced. Right now, we've established Outsourced Global Academy, which is a software academy that is focused on software AI data, and we're adding more courses to it. So, in that way, we have a large pool. Right now, we have about 300 people training. I know there are only 24 people that have not been outsourced yet, after finishing from our academy. So that's one. The same thing we did with software, we did it with accounting. You got a partner in Houston and said, “How do we upskill our people based on your needs? How do you expand your team with us? What is the kind of training that is required for us to do that?” And we structured a training based on the gap that they have. They are already accountants. They've learned at university. After doing our soft skill training, then they go into a training with him. So, that's how we're able to do that. And now they're providing accounting as a service to accounting firms. They expand their teams from our own team. We’re doing the same thing with PMS, professional medical services. After COVID-19, we realized there's a big gap regarding administration in hospitals in the US. The US is not the only market, but we always model things from the US, and then we expand it out. So, we created a training. We got a partner who has already a curriculum regarding training people on professional medical services. And we have now trained 19 people, and gradually we are outsourcing them. That's really what we have done. The same thing, we are adding other program based on the needs of the market. So, we are constantly researching and what can we introduce? We have this massive number of people that graduate in Nigeria. How do we get them? So, now we have three centers across Nigeria and we're expanding to a French location in Africa, and we're also expanding to a Spanish location before the end of the year.

[Rachelle Akuffo] That's a very important point…

[Amal Hassan] Yes…

[Rachelle Akuffo] …about the pipeline, because a lot of times there's training, but then there are no jobs. And you have employers who are saying, “Look, we have a knowledge and skills gap.” So, to be constantly activating that and making that match is very important, especially for the jobs of the future. And, of course, entrepreneurship is another critical component of job creation, especially for women. In fact, over half of women in developing countries see entrepreneurship as a path to a better future. But on average, only a quarter of new business owners globally are women. Basima, I want to bring you in here, what particular barriers do you see women facing as entrepreneurs and what did you find helpful in overcoming those barriers?

[Basima Abdulrahman] A very sensitive question… To be honest, we don't see many women in STEM fields in general, not to mention leading companies in high-tech industries, or in STEM fields, or mainly in male dominated sectors. That's not because women are incapable. It's mostly because women get less opportunities to get into careers in these sectors, and hence, advance and lead these sectors. So, I come from a region, and I think this is not a regional perspective around women, it's more of a global thing, but I understand there is this kind of social biasness towards women working in high-tech engineering sectors. And I've trained myself to understand it and accept it, because I understand most of the social biasness is unconscious. So, I make sure that I'm always equipped with the knowledge, with resources, with innovative ideas to communicate with potential investors, with clients and with partners. I've often been in a situation where I get into a room, I can sense the skepticism for being young, being a female talking to senior level people from high level organizations, but five minutes into the conversation, I can see the room changes and the environment and the dynamic change, because they've realized that I understand what I'm doing. I understand their needs and we're crafting solutions based on their specific needs to meet their economic benefits as well. It's very important to know much better than anyone else what you're doing and knowing also more about their problems than they, themselves, and present the right solutions. It's all about the power of knowledge and resources. And they realize that we have all the resources and expertise to take on these solutions and help them and support their businesses, especially businesses in Iraq that are suffering from shortage of power supply. It's one of the greatest obstacles to growth. We are addressing their needs. And this is something… I usually never take any kind of rejection personal. I always take it as a learning experience, how we can advance better in our approach and the way we present our solutions rather than blame the outside world for this kind of subconscious biasness, whether it was subconscious or unconscious.

[Rachelle Akuffo] And that's very helpful. I'm sure a lot of us have been in rooms where there has been bias presented. You feel that, but as you mentioned, it's that knowledge that is power. And knowing your product and your service and having the resources and the ability to communicate that can really change perceptions. Axel, I want to bring you in here, because we've been talking about partnerships and collaboration, and countries are looking to the World Bank to bring together new partners on investing in people for job solutions. So, can you tell us about how the World Bank is reimagining and deepening its work with the private sector and other partners on jobs as well?

[Axel van Trotsenburg] Well, I think this is again a chance for this whole evolution to think of many of the things and doing this differently. And we need always to keep in mind the challenge that we are facing. We have seen that the world has to create 1.1 billion jobs for young people by 2030. We are not on track on this. So, then, you have to say, “What can we, as organizations, do in order to stimulate the debate?” And there are different interventions that we can do. A: it is certainly through our convening power that we have a private sector arm and a public sector arm. So, we can actually combine that quite well. Then, actually listening to the private sector, what some of the concerns have been. In the past, we have done a lot of surveys on, for example, doing business, but that was also how you create jobs. I think we will have a new generation of this where we are going to look particularly at these areas of creating jobs. So, this is a whole area where we will need to work and you need to actually listen carefully. And then what you will see is that there are different areas where you could develop programs do first deep dives. One is in the whole regulatory one. When we were just talking before, we started with this session about the solar industry. What are the regulatory conditions? What are the feed-in tariffs? What are constraints to financing? And there is a whole range of issues which you would need to address to actually fully exploit the potential, for example, of solar power in Iraq, but also elsewhere. There is, then, the whole area of what the public sector can do in terms of creating the infrastructure that is necessary. We've talked earlier on the whole education challenges and then there is the question on investments. Investments on supporting this that can be from the infrastructure education, but it can also be in working with the private sector. And here, particularly, our private sector arms can be helpful. I think, personally, I would like to see us, and I'm thinking here out loud, we have in IDA, that is our Fund for the poorest countries, we have a private sector window that helps derisk. And often I've been thinking how can you actually create platforms? I've been challenging my colleagues. Can we actually think of bigger platforms that are really supporting young entrepreneurs? And I think that is what we need to do. What I find, actually, and I'm very sympathetic with this, is that if you travel sometimes in Africa, and I saw that in the Sahel zone, you’ll have a lot of young people with a lot of ideas and with old equipment. They need a little helping hand. They don't want to have a handout, but they want to have maybe some risk capital or electricity. There are some of these conditions. And I think we need to listen very carefully. In this continent, where we know, and this is the youngest continent on Earth, it will double its population, in order to make the dream come true that you can reduce poverty even more radically, you will need to create those jobs. And I think, therefore, you need to invest more on this. I, for once, feel that was a good part of the discussions we have been having with our board members on the reforms in the Bank that jobs should be far more prominently. We have to do a lot of work there; Mamta has that in her portfolio and quite a bit of analysis is being done. But we will probably need to up our game on this and see how we can further work. That will require continuous dialogue not only with the officially established private sector, but also with younger entrepreneurs to actually get good feedback on how we can help as an institution. [Rachelle Akuffo] I hope we do see some more of that momentum from your colleagues. I know, especially when we look at global youth unemployment rates, you do see this eagerness for young people. They have the ideas. It is just a question of perhaps accessing the resources. Indeed. Now, of course, throughout I've been reminding you all to use the QR codes to submit your questions or online as well. So now, I'd like to turn to a few of the questions from our audience who have been posting questions online, both before and during the event. Amal, this question is for you. An audience member asks, “What changes are needed in education systems and skills development to better prepare people for jobs, particularly, in a world facing technological and climate change?”

[Amal Hassan] Thank you very much. I think that's a very good question. So, starting from young education, digital literacy is really very important. What are the odds of a young woman growing up, born and brought up in Kano, Northern Nigeria, thinking to serve the world from Nigeria? That digital literacy, that IT training that I have gotten, got me to start thinking what does the world need and how do I serve the world, right? How do I create employment using that? It is really important from early age in Africa. I know that in developing countries and developed countries that is already going on. We need to do more and find a way to bring in digital literacy into our primary school and early education. Another thing that we really need to do is, while we are doing that, is that environmental awareness and the way that children from early stage should be aware of how to protect the environment, what they need to do, should also be part of their curriculum. In that way, both technology and environment are incorporated into the culture of their growing up. So, when you remember the learnings that you've heard as a child, those are practices that you do in an early stage that get inhabited in you and you actually behave like that when you grow up. So that needs to be done. Going into higher institutions, there has to be a collaboration between the industries and the universities. So, the universities are teaching. When people leave universities, there's a gap, especially in Africa. How do we fill that gap? These soft skills are really… Starting with soft skills is really very important. Basic communication skills, critical thinking, how do you analyze information and use that information to make informed decision? All those things are really very important in learning. Then the industries, what do they need, how do we incorporate what you need into the learning? And I think that's very important. Of course, I mentioned STEM is really very important. Our core curriculum should be STEM, especially in Africa. I know the developing countries and developed countries are really doing very well, but we are very way behind. And one of the basic disadvantages that we have in Africa is the lack of resources. So, primary schools do not have power, energy and all that. How do we work with governments to establish that in the university? I think starting with this alone will make a huge difference. But when you're looking at low-hanging fruit right now, how do we create skill development centers? And I think we touched on it earlier. India did that with IT and now they created huge employment in the IT sector around the world. I don't think you can go to any tech companies without seeing a majority, or a very large number, of Indians working there. And this is basically based on the National Skill Development Corporation. So that effort alone, that learning, should be replicated across countries in Africa. I know Nigeria is planning to do the same. In fact, there's going to be a launch by the Digital Economy, the Ministry, of something like that, which will really help in developing university graduates, or people without university degrees, with high school degrees, to achieve learning developments that will get them to be employed.

[Rachelle Akuffo] And you raise a good point there about not just the resources and also that gap that happens after university, but also the soft skills which often aren't the things that are taught in universities as well. I want to move on to our next audience question. Basima, one of our viewers commented that “Skills help people get jobs, but people continue growing through doing their jobs.” So, please, tell us about human capital within your company, and can you tell us how do you support your employees to learn and develop their skills, Basima?

[Basima Abdulrahman] Thanks, Rachelle. It's a very important topic considering that the solar energy sector is not new, it's been there for 25 years, but globally, the development of the sector was very slow. So, I've realized since day one that we are working in a sector, in a region, in a country, where there is scarcity of skilled human capital in the solar energy sector. So, to go out and hire people with all kind of experience in that specific sector is basically not feasible. We realize that with some relevance in educational background, the most important things are the qualities of the individuals. Having the relevance, experience or education is important, but what if there isn't any? In this case, we have to look at other qualities. Individuals with passion, commitment, willingness to learn. These are the most important things we look at, in addition to how relevant their education and experience or past experience in this sector are. So, we try to be as patient as possible when we have new hires. We understand we have to invest in them for some period of time, provide them with the resources, direction, build their capacity, and most importantly, despite providing them with the resources and the tools, we have to let them lead. It's remarkable how people can excel when they are believed in, when they're given the chance to lead and be proactive in their prospective sectors. We have had to, beyond the engineering, the software development and other technical expertise, have heavy capacity building. Also, like Amal said, soft skills are very important. We empower people to speak up at platforms. I've had situations with my teams who were afraid of even sit on the same table with decision makers or senior level professionals from potential clients. But I pushed them, because I know, at some point, they have to lead, they have to be sitting on the same table even with a huge difference of age and expertise. I feel this pleasure of giving them this opportunity. And after two, three years, I see them handling these meetings without me being there. And these are the small wins I always celebrate inside of me, let people lead, let people believe in themselves, give them the chance to prove themselves. And beyond the core teams and the specialties, we did engage in partnerships with a number of UN organizations, including WFP most recently, to develop capacity of technicians, laborers, to handle solar energy projects across Iraq. These are more like the skilled force that we need to handle projects across the country, because we do have core teams in two locations. But to take on the installation of projects across the country, we do focus on developing the capacity of local communities and hire, provide them with even temporary, but yet long-lasting skills for these communities to excel in the energy solar energy sector.

[Rachelle Akuffo] I appreciate that, especially because a lot of people sometimes do have that impostor syndrome If they're not in a position of either been in leadership or being around some of these high-level to trust their own voices in those spaces. But they're there because they belong there. So, I appreciate that. Mamta. Of course. This has been a very engaging panel. So, how can we take momentum forward to deliver more jobs by investing in people? I know it can be tough, especially a lot of fiscal priorities out there. How do we move forward on this?

[Mamta Murthi] So, that's not an easy question to answer, but let me say that I feel very enthused by the fact that there is a lot of interest. We are getting a lot of interest from both, governments and from the private sector on this issue. I think there's a recognition, right, that the challenge of employment is significant. How can we talk about a sustainable planet if people do not have an income to support themselves? So, that's why, as a part of the new mission statement of the World Bank, we talk about sustainability delivered through growth and human development, including jobs. So, I think there's a recognition that, as this planet is threatened, instead of seeing a contradiction between economic growth and environmental sustainability, we have to see these things coming together. You can't really talk about one without talking about the other. And I think we all believe that we have to protect this planet that we are born on, not just for ourselves, but for future generations. And in order to do that, we have to make sure that everybody can sustain themselves. So, I think there is a momentum around this agenda. I also spoke earlier about how we see a lot of interest on the part of governments, the public sector, in terms of what to do about having an environment where there is job creation and people have access to these jobs. So, I think that's also very positive. Now, obviously, there's a budget envelope that governments have and they have to prioritize. There are a number of tools that we make available to governments to use, so that they can prioritize and invest in things which provide the highest return and cut back on things which are harmful. And investing in people provides very high returns and they can find the resources for that by cutting back on the things that don't provide a high return and can even be harmful, like subsidies for fossil fuels, programs that have not been shown to be effective. I think governments have tools and there's a demand from populations that they use those tools. I think on the private sector side, I think the world is changing, right? We are in the midst of a massive demographic change. We know that populations are growing rapidly in sub–Saharan Africa. They're sort of plateauing in Asia, and they're actually declining in the rich world. The only way in which there can be growth potential for companies that are located in rich countries is if they are able to partner with poorer countries in skilling their populations, and if there is international cooperation, so that there can be more labor mobility. We see a lot of interest in this issue as well. We are very happy to see the private sector advocating for more openness to labor mobility and more willingness to partner in skills partnerships, to engage in skills partnerships. I am biased because I work in this area, but I do see a lot of momentum around this issue of investing in people to create jobs and have a sustainable planet.

[Rachelle Akuffo] And you certainly raise a good point about those demographic shifts really changing what the future of work is going to look like. A big thank you to all of our guests for joining us to discuss this important issue. It's clear from today's session that more and better investments in people are critical to build human capital and stimulate job creation, including, importantly, through entrepreneurship. And while countries and the World Bank are working to support and develop human capital, it will take cooperation and collaboration across all sectors, including the private sector and the civil society, to address this challenge and, of course, leverage this opportunity. Well, that brings us to the end of this event. We hope it's been informative and engaging for you. You can watch the replay of this session and our other events at And, of course, please, continue sharing your comments online with the hashtag #WBmeetings. We'd love to hear from all of you. Thank you so much for joining us today. [Audience applauds]

00:00 Welcome | More Jobs through Investing in Human Capital

03:41 Key takeaways of the Human Capital Network Ministers of Finance

05:52 Voices from entrepreneurs: Building the necessary skills to start a business

13:14 How the World Bank is investing in human capital to create more jobs

19:17 Leveraging own human capital to invest in a company's people

23:34 Barriers that women face as entrepreneurs and how to overcome them

27:20 How the World Bank is working with the private sector and other partners

32:47 Live Q&A | Preparing people for jobs in a world facing technological and climate change

37:42 Live Q&A | Supporting employees to learn and develop their skills

42:18 Taking momentum forward to deliver more jobs by investing in people

46:21 Closure