The Africa Care Economy Index

In Africa, the Care Economy has long been unrecognised. At least since the last pandemic — HIV-AIDS — caring work has been severely undervalued in the continent, and the redistribution of caring work, from females in the home and communities, next to nonexistent. The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed attention to the care economy globally.

The Africa Care Economy Index offers a concrete evaluation of African state performance in the recognition, support and redistribution of caring work. Based on a definition of care economy and related concepts relevant in Africa, the Index uses ten metrics to evaluate the 54 states of the continent.

Demonstrating longstanding neglect of the care economy by all states in Africa, recommendations are made around broad policy and in depth research required to begin supporting and redistributing caring work. Social recognition and state support for caring work are shown to be central to building holistic development that benefits the majority in Africa.

Much has been written about Africa’s demographic dividend (Bloom, Canning et al. 2007; World Bank 2007; Bloom, Humair et al. 2013; Drummond, Thakoor and Yu 2014; May and Turbat 2017). An enlarging global share of working age population is seen as the basis for transformed economic growth in Africa in the coming decades. Linked to this potential for economic growth is adequate human capital investment, with education and healthcare most frequently mentioned as policy targets.

Download the Africa Care Economy Index 2022 here.

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