Third, industry and the wider private sector needs to be empowered to drive growth and employment. Millions have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, but many have migrated out of Africa simply because they have no job, no income and no social safety net. Their lives, like the countries they live in, are defined by fragility. This has to change.
Governments have a massive role to play but, as the U.N.’s Private Sector Forum highlighted at the General Assembly, it is the private sector that has the capacity and the incentives to rapidly expand, provide jobs and deliver associated welfare benefits, from healthcare to pensions.
A case in point is Sierra Rutile, the mining company I run in Sierra Leone. We operate a clinic within our mining concession that treats 22,000 people each year, giving the local community vital care that otherwise simply wouldn’t exist. Providing welfare support in addition to a stable salary should be the norm, not the exception, for private companies profiting from the riches to be found in frontier markets.