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May 4, 2022

Overcoming Human Capital Setbacks in a Crisis

Spring Meetings Event_Human Capital at the Cross Roads

[Photo] Speakers at the 2022 Spring Meetings Ministerial Conclave included Ministers of Finance from Angola, Ecuador, Georgia, Morocco, and Rwanda. They were joined by a private sector CEO from Bangladesh and a co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The World Bank Group was represented by the President, Managing Director for Operations, and Vice Presidnet for Human Development.

World Bank

On April 26th, 2022, Ministers of finance and planning, private sector leaders, and heads of foundations and agencies from over 60 countries joined the 2022 Spring Meetings Human Capital Ministerial Conclave to discuss policy priorities and solutions to overcome learning losses and restore jobs and skills.

Overcoming learning losses and the learning crisis

Ministers of Finance from Angola, Ecuador, and Georgia shared country experiences on how to make up learning losses for students in cases where schools were closed for a year or more, how they might recover concepts they previously learned but have since forgotten, and what it really means to ‘get back on track’ given competing country priorities.  

For example, the Minister from Angola noted how their government is working to protect financial commitments to education. The Minister of Ecuador linked the education of the current generation to future economic indicators. The Minister of Georgia reflected on the importance of aligning investments across multiple ministries and at all stages of education. 

Restoring jobs & skills

The second panel focused on addressing impacts of COVID-19 on the labor market and discussed what needs to be done now and in the future. The panelists covered important territory for policy and partnership between the government and the private sector.

Morocco’s Ministers of Finance discussed a new National Economic Strategy, an integrated reform program that includes microfinance and fintech policies, and private sector regulations, to support women’s employment in the formal economy. Rwanda’s Minister of Finance highlighted the importance of vocational training and youth employment. He also spoke to addressing the COVID-19 shocks to firms through an economic recovery fund and preparing for the future by better integrating digital skills into their education curriculum. The CEO of Apex Limited, addressed the impacts of COVID-19 on the labor market and the government and private sectors’ role in limiting job losses. He noted the importance of high-quality training that is informed by the needs of the private sector.  

Spring Meetings Event_Human Capital at the Cross Roads

Labor market setbacks, particularly for informal workers, youth, and women, could have repercussions for years to come.

World Bank

Conversation between President Malpass and Melinda French Gates

In his conversation with co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates, World Bank Group President, David Malpass focused on learning recovery, the inclusion of women in labor markets, and the importance of digital skills. Through their dialogue, Ms. French Gates brought to light critical considerations including lowering gender gaps in digitalization to allow women better chances to take advantage of digital wallets, resulting in increased ownership of assets and decision-making.

Additional Statements 

You can review insightful written and recorded statements received from ministers and heads of agencies.