Human and Social Development Department (OSHD)

The AfDB uses its know-how and financial resources to provide technical assistance, financial support and to generate knowledge that will strengthen the human capital of African countries, leading to a skilled African workforce, better jobs in knowledge-driven and innovative markets and improved quality of life through effective health services and social safety nets.

Africa’s economic growth (on average 6%) has not been inclusive and its people have not reaped the benefits. The persistent levels of poverty despite this growth are underpinned by the absence of a diversified economy, poor access to credit and insurance, low human and physical capital and weak systems of social protection.

With the continent’s population set to more than double by 2050, its greatest asset will be Africa’s capacity to harness its human capital.

To this end the AfDB focuses on three areas of human capital development:

  • Skills for competitiveness and employment opportunities - by building knowledge, investing in science, technology and innovation, improving productivity in the informal sector and investing in education and training that matches skills with tomorrow’s job markets.
  • Efficient and inclusive service delivery - supporting government reforms, citizens voice and private sector engagement for better efficiency and accountability in service delivery that is accessible, results-focused and user-oriented.  
  • Ensuring inclusion and social cohesion - building financial and social systems for inclusive growth and better safety nets against economic shocks, through people’s participation and women’s empowerment.

The Human Development Department is made up of 3 divisions that work in unison to deliver on human capital development in Africa: Health, Education, Social Protection and Poverty Reduction