A New Kind of Company Is Revolutionising Africa’s Gig Economy
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A New Kind of Company Is Revolutionising Africa’s Gig Economy

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The informal economy operates from the sidelines, beyond the reach of government regulation or taxation. Most informal employment occurs in developing countries, where it’s been keeping local people afloat for decades. But the work is unpredictable, workers can be unreliable, and neither workers nor employers thrive under uncertainty. Such is the case in Africa, where the working-age population is booming but jobs are in short supply. According to this World Economic Forum article, mobile technology and its proclivity for finding, gathering and mobilizing temporary workers may be the answer. 

Summary

By 2035, more people will reach working age each year in Africa than in the rest of the world combined. 

By 2050, Africa will need at least 18 million new jobs each year to sustain 1.25 billion people of working age. Traditional approaches suggest that transforming informal markets into formal markets is a necessary step on the path to development. But when informal employment makes up 85.8% of Africa’s job market and mobile technology is a frictionless way to mobilize gig workers, the formal economy approach seems stale. Both private investors and development finance institutions will be crucial in helping Africa’s gig economy develop and in challenging...

About the Author

Aubrey Hruby is a senior adviser to Fortune 500 Companies and also contributes to the World Economic Forum, an international organization for public-private cooperation.


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