The Future of Work in Africa: Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All

The World Bank published a report that looks at how the adoption of digital technologies can support sub-Saharan Africa in creating new opportunities and challenges. To this aim, the report tackles three main issues: a) the human capital needs of a young and rapidly growing largely low-skilled labour force, b) the prevalence of informal workers and enterprises, c) and the social protection policies to mitigate risks resulting from disruptions to labour markets. “Because most African countries face different development challenges such as lower levels of productive technology adoption and more under-employed people than other regions, an increase in digital technology adoption has the potential to have a positive effect on economies,” noted World Bank Lead Economist and one of the report authors Mark Dutz. The report provides key policy recommendations for governments in the region to be able to take advantage of digital technologies including a) ensure that digital infrastructure is available and affordable to all, b) provide complementary physical infrastructure such as reliable electricity, c) support the inventors and entrepreneurs that are needed to develop tools, d) develop interventions to facilitate the productivity upgrading of informal farms and firms, and e) expand the coverage of social protection and labour systems.