Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Series: Goal 8

Goal 8Goal Eight: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal Eight, like Goal Seven, also does not stem directly from the Millennium Development Goals, with its emphasis on the economies of countries rather than some of the social indicators referenced in other goals. Part of this goal’s targets calls for specific annual GDP growth targets of 7 percent for least developed countries. Africa’s GDP growth is expected to be at 4.5% by the end of 2015 and 5% in 2016. This shows some positive progress and a strong likelihood of achieving the target.

Aside from GDP growth, this goal also focuses on labour rights and protections, as well as unemployment, with two of the targets with a specific focus on youth unemployment. Africa has the youngest population in the world, with the youth population expected to double on the continent by 2045. According the the Africa Economic Outlook 2015, approximately 19 million youth in Sub-Saharan Africa entered the labour market this year, and this figure is expected to grow to an average of 24.6 million a year over the next 15 years. This presents a significant risk for youth unemployment. Creating more productive jobs will become an even greater priority in the implementation of the SDGs.


Proposed Targets:

8.1 Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries

8.2 Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value-added and labour-intensive sectors

8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services

8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead

8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

8.7 Take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, eradicate forced labour and, by 2025, end child labour in all its forms, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers

8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment

8.9 By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

8.10 Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all

8.a Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries

8.b By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization

Related Information

Report on the Roundtable Discussion on ‘Shared Societies and Inclusive Sustainable Development’ organized by UONGOZI Institute and the Club of Madrid in 2013, including video from the event.

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