TechInAfrica – The Mastercard Foundation revealed new research—Digital Commerce and Youth Employment in Africa—showing that around 80 million of youngsters will get benefits from the rise of digital commerce in Africa by 2030. The research was conducted in partnership with BFA.
The research findings have indicated that the sector is potential of addressing employment issues on the continent. In Africa, digital commerce or commonly called e-commerce is one of the emerging economies in Africa.
On the research, it’s predicted that over 10% of the informal workforce will use digital platforms for their businesses by 2030. They can partake in e-commerce both as consumers and workers—called iWorkers—depending on whether there’s a supportive policy environment or not.
This type of business is often called ‘gig economy’ where people are connected digitally and generate income. They are hired through direct employment with big platforms like Alibaba and Amazon, small businesses, and to more formalized work.
“A substantial number of young people could benefit from the rise of digital commerce in Africa, lifting themselves and families out of poverty. Policymakers have a distinct opportunity to shape the future of work for African youth by designing growth-enabling policies. These policies need to unlock the potential of digital commerce while addressing its risks,” said Tricia Williams, Senior Manager, Strategy and Learning at the Mastercard Foundation.
The research suggested three approaches that can be adopted immediately by African governments to future proof African youths and themselves;
- Collecting better data on digital commerce (e-commerce) and employment
- Monitoring evolving trends and promoting a better understanding by digital issues’ policymakers
- Prioritizing the development of digital commerce skills in terms of marketing and relationship with customers
“Take a test-and-learn approach – targeted experimentation to formulate more comprehensive strategies and policies over time, such as a digital version of the public works program targeting youth or testing the exemption of certain labour and tax laws to encourage an active iWorker policy,” said David Porteous, Founder and Chair of BFA, as a suggestion to policymakers.