African construction workers on a building site, next to them SDG 8 icon: Decent work and economic growth

    SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth

    How everyone benefits from balanced growth

    Several hundred million people around the world are unemployed; others have work, but do not earn enough to make a living. Only a flourishing economy creates jobs, but the aim is not to promote work at all costs. Economic growth on its own is not sufficient to pave the way to a sustainable increase in prosperity for all. In addition to material prosperity, social harmony, an autonomous life, and a clean and intact environment are also essential elements of development that can be jeopardised when the pursuit of profit is the sole objective. Rather, it is about qualitative growth that seeks sustainable progress in economic, social as well as environmental terms.

    An important basis for development is the creation of employment and income, because fairly paid and socially secure jobs offer a way out of the poverty trap. However, many employment relationships are still subject to exploitative conditions, forced and child labour as well as dangerous workplaces are widespread, and people can hardly live on their income. KfW Development Bank therefore promotes economic growth that enables decent work.

    It invests, for example, in funds that give small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to loans. Prospering companies create employment and generate income. KfW also promotes the construction of infrastructure, which directly and indirectly secures jobs. In addition, it supports the expansion of vocational training systems that make it possible for employees to receive qualifications orientated toward market demands. Furthermore, KfW promotes innovation in partner countries and is financing a broad spectrum of technologies, as demand on the global market is primarily for high-quality products. KfW is supporting its partner countries as they expand value chains and improve products, thus creating more productive jobs with higher incomes.

    A functioning financial system is the basis of every economy. To give companies and people in partner countries access to financial services like loans, bank accounts and insurance, KfW supports the strengthening of local financial institutions – which also contributes to a prosperous economy and thus stable employment.

    In its partner countries, KfW Development Bank promotes employment through qualitative economic growth that equally bears economic, social and ecological aspects in mind. In 2023, new commitments contributing to the achievement of SDG 8 amounted to over EUR 1.2 billion.

    “Work – the best means of combating poverty”

    Interview with Prof. Dr Jochen Kluve, economist and head of the evaluation department at KfW Development Bank, about the value of work and how to create more jobs.

    Baraka: Quality of life and new job prospects

    The German YOU Foundation with the support of the Sawiris Foundation and Casa Orascom is transforming the former slum in Senegal's capital Dakar into a modern residential area. At the same time, Invest for Jobs is offering around 30 training courses to open up long-term job prospects for the people.

    KfW's contribution to SDG 8