One People, One Destiny?
Social Drivers of Inequality
The share of industry in the economy increased modestly in four of the five East African countries.East Africa’s industrial sector employed about 560,000 workers in 2012. Assuming a labour force of about 77 million in 2010, industrial employment accounted for less than 1 per cent of the region’s total labour force. In order to reach the goal of having 2.3 million people working in manufacturing, the region’s industrial sector jobs will have to expand five times in the next 20 years.
A formal, wage-paying job is a privilege reserved for a tiny minority of East Africa’s working population. Just 1.6 per cent of Uganda’s, 4 per cent of Burundi’s, 5 per cent of Tanzania’s and 6 percent of Kenya’s working populations are formally employed. For those fortunate enough to find a paying job, the wage data highlights further the disparity in earnings. The lowest official monthly minimum wages across East Africa vary from $81 in Uganda to just $3.10 in Burundi, which is four times lower than its official poverty line of $12. The median monthly wage ranged from $176 in Rwanda to $84 in Tanzania. However, at $176, Rwanda’s median wage is lower than its own official poverty line ($192) and furthermore, less than half of working Rwandans were paid a wage that was higher than the country’s poverty line.