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NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY PUBLIC POLICY

Year: 2015|   Volume No: 11|   ISSN: 0795-0330|   Page No: 117


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Title:  THE DRIVING FACTORS OF HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: EVIDENCE FROM REGION-SPECIFIC REGRESSIONS

1- MOHAMMED SHUAIBU 2-DAMIAN BENSAH LAWONG  

1-DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA KADUNA STATE,NIGERIA. 
2- DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA. 

ABSTRACT

This paper empirically probes the factors that drive human capital development within a region-specific comparative framework taking into account the explicit role of health and education as well as other control variables not considered in previous literatures. Predicated on regionspecific regression and trend analysis using time series data between 1990 and 2014, quantitative evidence suggest that sub Saharan Africa lags behind other regions in terms of human capital development. The findings also show that development of the education and health sectors in other regions have contributed significantly to human capital development while the role of complementary factors such as infrastructure and institutions cannot be downplayed. Our findings make a case for strengthening national and regional efforts towards capacity building in SSA with priority given to health and education

SUMMARY:

Growth and resilience in a knowledge-driven global economy is predicated on a labor force that is healthy and endowed with requisite skills to meet emerging economic realities. The education and health sectors in SSA have over the years remained weak as the volume and capacity of human capital remains  unable to meet the challenges of the 21st century or compete favorably in global markets. Therefore, this paper sought to assess the determinants of human capital development in SSA using region-specific regression analysis with a view to identifying the drivers and bottlenecks of human capital development in comparison with other regions (EAP, ECA, LAC, MENA, NA and SSA).This is expected to provide insightful information and lessons regarding human capital development-related policy formulation and implementation. The trend analysis shows that the direction of government priorities and commitments in terms of resources devoted to the education and health sectors have led to the glaring disparities in regional human capital development efforts; with SSA lagging behind. For instance, East Asia committed far more resources and gave high priority to the education and health sector compared to SSA. The impact of those investments have directly culminated to high literacy rates and markedly improved years of life expectancy at birth thus leading to higher output per unit of labour. It was also observed that regions that experienced remarkable human capital development had over the years maintained macroeconomic stability.

Correspondence:

2- lawongd@yahoo.com


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