The Motsepe Foundation Economic Inclusion Barometer

Economic inclusion refers to the extent to which all people can participate fairly in the economic life of their society, regardless of sex, age, race, location or other categories.

Measures to assure economic inclusion for all citizens are desirable ethically and from a human rights perspective, but there are also compelling economic reasons for active support of inclusion.

Societies where exclusion is high or where it is on the rise are likely to struggle more with cohesion, trust, social capital, and fractious politics.   Over time, this generates costs to the economy, reduces cooperation between various stakeholders, and constrains the extent to which societies can agree on and implement longer-term plans.

Inclusion is not only important, however, because costs associated with exclusion are eliminated, but because inclusivity has its own unique growth dividend: where a diversity of views are incorporated, innovation is often fostered, +and social resilience is higher.

Getting to full economic inclusion requires active intervention from government, meaningful partnerships between all stakeholders, and an evidence-based sense of whether enough is being done, and of what is working and what not.

As part of prioritising economic inclusion, the Motsepe Foundation launched an Economic Inclusion Barometer at the 6th GEWAL summit on 11 March 2022.

The Barometer will credibly score overall economic inclusion as well as trends in key components of it.

We hope that introducing an explicit measure of economic inclusion can help ensure inclusion is prioritised in policy debates and that policy proposals are effectively implemented, as well as contributing to the oversight of performance and tracking of inclusionary / exclusionary trends over time.

The Barometer, in foregrounding inclusion, will also seek to shift broader social discussions about economic performance away from an overly narrow preoccupation with changes in GDP to a broader sense of wellbeing.

The Barometer will use a combination of public data and expert opinion to provide an annual score out of ten for economic inclusion together with diagnoses and policy recommendations.

The Barometer will score both the state of economic inclusion and rates of progress or regress

The overall score will be an aggregation of separate scores for the following key components of economic inclusion:

– Labour Market Participation

– Entrepreneurship Rates

– Household Expenditure Poverty

– Finance Inclusion

– Public and Private Sector Leadership and Management

– Digital Economy Access and Capability

– Learning and knowledge Access and Capability

Please look out for the first report with scores and recommendations, in October 2022.