On 26th February 2022, the Women Economists Network (WEN), with support from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Economic Policy Competence Centre, held its annual core group meeting in Akosombo to discuss the Digital Economy and Employment Creation in Africa: Prospects and Challenges. The meeting brought together Women Economists in academia and Civil Societies to share ideas on how the digital economy in SSA can be inclusive and how the digital economy can create decent jobs.
The discussions revealed that the digital economy served as an alternative medium to create jobs in new and existing markets. Despite the job opportunities the digital economy creates, it may not be inclusive because of a lack of access to the internet, infrastructure gaps, and the prevalence of online harassment and violence. The adverse implications of a non-inclusive digital economy could deepen existing inequalities in Africa. Especially amongst women and youth, who are disproportionately affected by various inequalities. Further, the digital economy can reduce inequalities such as gender inequality by affording women the flexibility to overcome mobility constraints and combat restrictive gender norms.
Summary Points of Policy Recommendations:
• There is a need to invest in digital infrastructure to harness the benefit of the industrial revolution
• Investment should be sensitive to the needs of the population and gender
• Special attention should be given to the impact on employment
• There is a Need to reform education to provide the needed skills and enhance the ability to transform knowledge into relevance in the labour market. This can be done by: