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Insights into changing nature of work for young Africans

Automation, artificial intelligence and the emergence of digital platforms are not only changing the way companies manufacture goods but also shifting the social contract among workers, companies and governments.

The positive transformations associated with digital technologies are unlikely to unfold positively in Africa on their own. All stakeholders need to act quickly and collaboratively to ensure that young Africans can take advantage of these dynamic opportunities. In response to this, the Changing Nature of Work (CNW) initiative aims to offer a vision of how long-term trends will shape labour markets and opportunities for young Africans.

Genesis was contracted by Mastercard Foundation's Strategy and Learning team to perform audience-needs research for a new initiative to improve the availability of insights relating to the changing nature of work for young Africans in the coming 10-15 years.

As a starting point, the Mastercard Foundation seeks to improve the availability of insights relating to CNW for young Africans in the coming 10-15 years and this study will act as a baseline against which the Mastercard Foundation can plan its activities. The purpose of this study was two-fold:

• To understand the decision-making process and information, data and insights used for current decision-making related to CNW.

• To understand needs regarding information, data and insights related to future work trends and opportunities.

The study was targeted at five key audience segments: implementing organisations, government stakeholders, private sector stakeholders, youth, and the Mastercard Foundation country teams.

Genesis Analytics employed a mixed data collection method to understand what information stakeholders needed and the current decision-making process.

This study found that there was a need to improve understanding of CNW across audience types and countries, and there was a gap in understanding between rural and urban youth. Key actions towards the future of CNW is researching and developing more systematic ways of identifying skills required for CNW, facilitating the creation of taskforces/think tanks that promote collaboration within government departments, and identification of where CNW conversations and collaboration are happening e.g. Kigali City and South African National Taskforce, and support existing groups and scale to other countries.

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