Unlocking Productive Entrepreneurship in Africa’s Least Developed Countries

Structural transformation and productive entrepreneurship can create jobs and accelerate growth. For many people living in poverty in Africa’s least developed countries, subsistence agriculture is the main source of employment. Jobs and growth will improve their chances of increasing their standard of living. However, progress of a dynamic private sector in industry or high value-added services remain elusive. This paper develops a theoretical framework to examine the main obstacles to entrepreneurship in Africa’s poorest countries. There are clearly skill shortages in these economies. Development of entrepreneurship cannot be left to markets alone. The state has a role to play as well. Carefully conceived and implemented State interventions including training can help to establish small and medium enterprises that are required.

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