This paper explores Africa's economic performance and the creation of jobs over the decade and more since 1995, recognizing that some standard labor concepts are difficult to apply to conditions prevailing in Africa. The intent of the paper is to identify the economic factors behind the more successful outcomes and the options available for improving the quality of growth. The report focuses on several key issues: how has the structure of economic growth and labor demand shaped the job creation process? Does rigidity in African labor markets impede job creation? Have the quality and quantity of the labor supply affected job creation? What policies have been pursued to raise the quality of the African labor force? What does the expanding "informal" sector mean for the labor market and the quality of growth? Is it a route out of poverty or a low-skills trap? Throughout the paper, the focus is on the factors, exogenous and endogenous, that are linked to the outcomes, and the implications that these factors may have for raising the quality of Africa's economic growth. Some countries have reversed many of the vicious cycles underlying Sub- Saharan Africa's generally poor performance on job creation; those countries are highlighted where adequate data are available, and the lessons these experiences offer all stakeholders in meeting the growth and poverty reduction challenges of the future are pointed out. The paper concludes that Africa's record of poor economic performance has in part been an inevitable result of its colonial heritage-the low levels of human capital at independence. It is also a function of the ensuing policies pursued, especially those that led to the debt crisis and the subsequent recession and public sector restructuring. In most countries, these costs have been paid, and the future looks brighter as a result.