IGF 2023 WS #76 Digital Equity &Meaningful Work: An Intercontinental Outlook


Digital Divides & Inclusion
Skills Building for Basic and Advanced Technologies (Meaningful Access)

Organizer 1: Miriam Beartrice Wanjiru, Paradigm Initiative
Organizer 2: Ihueze Nwobilor, Paradigm Initiative

Speaker 1: Onica Makwakwa, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: 'Gbenga Sesan, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Angela Ndaka , Civil Society, African Group


Miriam Beartrice Wanjiru, Civil Society, African Group

Online Moderator

Ihueze Nwobilor, Civil Society, African Group


Aicha Fall, Civil Society, African Group


Birds of a Feather - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. How are national and International labour laws applied in the gig economy to promote meaningful work for African, Asian and Latin American Youth?
2. What policy measures can be taken to ensure that young people in developing regions have access to digital tools and resources necessary to acquire the skills needed for meaningful work?
3. How can policymakers promote digital literacy and skills development among young people in developing regions, particularly those who are marginalized or undeserved?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will gain a better understanding of the link between digital equity and youth (un)employment in developing regions, and will be equipped with best practices and strategies for empowering young people for meaningful work. The workshop will equally provide an overview of digital opportunities that meet the threshold for meaningful work in Africa, Asia, and Latin America while highlighting challenges and opportunities facing young people in these regions in their quest to attain meaningful employment. The speakers will also discuss the role of digital skills in promoting economic growth and development in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Lastly, youth will be equipped with relevant knowledge to ensure they are not exploited by those who do not adhere to international labor standards.


At a time when many traditional jobs are being replaced or transformed by automation and artificial intelligence, it is crucial for stakeholders to ensure work in the digital era is meaningful, provides a sense of purpose, and is impactful. Research shows that despite the numerous opportunities presented by technological advancement, a majority of youth from Africa, Asia, and Latin America are yet to fully benefit from these advancements. This is due to the unequal application of labor laws and opportunities that foster inclusive and equal digital economies.

This workshop therefore aims to expound on the threshold for meaningful work, demystifying modern day slavery especially in the digital space, while making references to practical cases from Asia, Africa and Latin America. It seeks to bring together scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and activists to engage in critical discussions, share innovative solutions, and exchange best practices related to digital equity and the future of work. Generally, the session will:
- Examine the policy gaps on labor Laws for digital work in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
- Identify key barriers to digital access and utilization for youth in Africa, Asia, and Latin America
- Share case studies of successful initiatives promoting digital equity for youth employment in the said regions.
- Discuss best practices and strategies for promoting digital equity and empowering young people for meaningful work.

The session will feature a panel discussion with experts from different stakeholder groups, including government officials, civil society organizations, industry representatives, and the private sector. Through a moderated Q&A session, participants that are both online and in-person will have an opportunity to share their experiences, thoughts and give feedback.

Expected Outcomes

Sharing Best Practices: Knowledge of best practices from Africa, Asia and Latin America and of initiatives taken by various organisations, governments, or communities to promote digital equity and support meaningful work in relation to existing national and universal labour laws.
Identifying Challenges: Participants will identify the challenges that hinder digital equity and meaningful work in Africa, Asia and Latin America, focusing on the social, economic, and cultural factors that prevent youth from accessing and participating in the digital economy.
Developing Strategies: Working strategies to address challenges around meaningful work and modern day slavery while considering unique needs and circumstances of different regions, as well as the global trends and best practices.
Networking and Collaboration: An opportunity for participants to network and collaborate with peers from different regions which will lead to joint initiatives, partnerships, and advocacy efforts to promote digital equity and meaningful work globally.

Hybrid Format: To ensure the session will be hybrid, Paradigm Initiative organisers will have a technical support staff on standby to troubleshoot any issues that may arise during the event. This will ensure that participants online will fully participate and benefit from the discussion. Additionally, the organisers will ensure three speakers from Africa, Asia and Latin America are physically present on location in Kyoto, Japan.