NEW YORK, Oct 2 – World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has emphasised the need to focus on two main Sustainable Development Goals – health and education.
Speaking during the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers conference held in New York, Kim noted that the first path will be to accelerate inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
This, he stated, can be enhanced by laying foundations for more effective public services, governance and tackling corruption, making trade work for everyone and by creating markets to bring the benefits of private sector rigour and innovation to developing countries.
On human capital, the World Bank President cited the need to invest more effectively in people adding that the premium on human capital will increase annually.
“The demands for digital competency are accelerating as indicators suggest that automation will replace many of the less complex and low skilled jobs. The remaining jobs will demand new and more sophisticated skill.”
“It is no longer about how much a country can produce but how rich is the human resource.”
To achieve this, Kim challenged Africa to invest more in education and health as the suitable avenue to alleviate poverty as well as avoid dependency on donors by setting aside funds in their annual budgets.
According to Kim, developing countries are reluctant to invest in education and health, preferring to ask for funding from donors instead.
“The Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 193 states in 2015 are really wildly inspirational in the vision of a world without poverty and hunger safe from threats like environmental and social disasters.”
To ensure that the funds allocated for health and education is spent accordingly by developing countries, Jim called on donors to revise their funding.
On October 11, the World Bank will launch the Human Capital Index which aims to be used as a tool to assess progress within countries and point to opportunities for cross-country learning and exchange.