IGF 2020 WS #312 The Future of Work


Organizer 1: Civil Society, African Group
Organizer 2: Civil Society, African Group
Organizer 3: Civil Society, African Group

Speaker 1: Wakesho Kililo, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Denis Kiogora Kirimi, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Mbuki Mburu, Civil Society, African Group


Break-out Group Discussions - Round Tables - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1) Digital Literacy, inclusion and the Future of Work Topics: Digital Skills, Digital Transformation, inclusion 1. How do we best equip the workforce of the 21st century with the necessary skills to take advantage of the new employment opportunities that will result from digital transformation? How do we ensure that these skills and employment opportunities are available to all and that the global south is equipped to participate on an equal footing? 2. How do we tackle gender norms that are barriers to the inclusion of women and their use of digital technologies? 3. How do we ensure we create specific opportunities for women to benefit from digitization? 4. Gig workers, side hustlers, free lancers: How do we manage alternative workforce's for success? 5. How can the private sector and other players consciously ensure that digital technologies are not designed to further entrench marginalization? 6. What regulatory changes are needed to be put in place by governments to ensure inclusive use of digital technologies? 7. What can be done to ensure that the youth are equipped to benefit from the opportunities arising in the digital age?

Issues to be addressed 1. The changing face of work and the work place 2. The high rate of unemployment among women, persons with disabilities and youth? 3. The lack of skills necessary for future work among women, persons with disabilities and youth? 4. How digitization can be harnessed to ensure inclusion Opportunities Digitization, digital technologies and the opportunities the internet present in tackling youth unemployment, gender gap in employment and exclusion of persons with disabilities


GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities


Session outline The internet and digital technologies have brought great opportunities for growth, for the enhancement of lives, socio economic activities and for better service delivery. At the same time, digital technologies and the internet can lead to digital exclusion and the amplification of already existing socio economic challenges faced by marginalized groups such as women, persons with disabilities and youth. One such challenge is access to work. Current research shows that 10% of girls aged 15-24 in the world are illiterate. In sub-Saharan Africa, youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges being faced. With the likelihood that digitization will result in many jobs being rendered obsolete and with the current reality that many youths do not have work and do not have the skills necessary for work in the future, it is imperative that governments, the private sector and civil society come together to address the challenges and opportunities that exist with digitization. Agenda This session will discuss; 1. What will work and the workspace look like in the future? 2. How inclusive will work be for women, persons with disabilities and youth? 3. What are the new areas in which work will be created? 4. What skills are necessary for the necessary for the new work space and the new ways of working? 5. How can the gap between the skills that will be required for the future and the skills currently being imparted in schools? 6. How big will work be in the platform economy? 7. How can digital technologies be harnessed to create opportunities for youth unemployment 8. What policies, regulations and laws are needed in place for the future of work?

Expected Outcomes

Governments, Civil Society and Private sector actors we understand the roles they play in ensuring inclusive development. Output: A publication that will contain recommendations to governments, private sector and youth on how they will ensure an inclusive future of work.

We will encourage everyone to speak and also encourage anonymous feedback.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The Session will give recommendations to governments on how they can use digital technologies to ensure inclusion of marginalized populations. For example, the right to public participation is a political right that is recognized in international treaties and domestic legislation in African Countries such as South Africa and Kenya. However, most of these public participation forums, on legislation for example, are usually held during the weekday, when most people are at work; are held in government premises that are in areas that are not accessible to the average citizen because of distance and the cost of travel; are not accessible to persons with disabilities; are conducted in languages that most citizens do not understand and are never given sufficient notice to enable people to plan to attend. The session will also explore digital opportunities that can be harnessed by governments in delivering educational. The session will cover tangible regulations and policies that they can adopt to encourage private sector investment in pro-poor innovations that will enable everyone to have access to technologies. Private sector The session will cover specific recommendations for the private sector in creating opportunities for women to make use of and benefit from technology and for them not to be left behind; including the design of useful digital products for women and other marginalized populations. Civil society The session will give ideas and best practices to civil society on how they can support the unique challenges faced by developing countries in Africa including challenging existing norms that are a barrier to women, youth and persons with disabilities from benefiting from digital technologies.

Relevance to Theme: The session will come up with specific recommendations to ensure that women, youth and persons with disabilities will not be further excluded by digitization but that digitization will be used as a tool to ensure they have the skills and opportunities necessary for work in the future.

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.