Evolving technological innovations and global value chains have resulted in deindustrialization and the elevation of non-traditional sectors that are capable of sustained productivity growth, employment to scale, and efficient adoption of new technologies. Given their tradability and potential for productivity growth, “industries without smokestacks” (IWOSS), can help drive growth and create livelihoods for traditionally at-risk demographics like women and youth. The role and potential of IWOSS sectors is especially relevant to Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and home to the continent’s second highest population living in poverty.
On Thursday, June 15, 2023, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative in partnership with Nigeria’s Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA) hosted a discussion on the findings from the report “Employment Creation Potential of Industries without Smokestacks (IWOSS): A Nigeria Study.” The discussion featured a high-level panel of leading experts and academics to assess the potential of IWOSS sectors such as financial and business services, information and communications technology (ICT), and formal trade for large-scale job creation in Nigeria, particularly for vulnerable demographics like women and youth. During the event, the panelists explored the following questions among others:
- What is the employment situation in Nigeria?
- What is the pattern of sector growth vis-a-vis performance of IWOSS and non-IWOSS sectors in Nigeria?
- What is the potential growth and labor demand of IWOSS sectors?