Digitisation and the Disappearing Job Theory: A Role for the ilo in Africa?

Stefano Bellucci, Eric E. Otenyo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


For a coherent framework for understanding the future of work, there is a need to unify theories on the role of digitisation in any potential job losses. Is it possible that digitisation not only achieves efficiencies but also retains or creates jobs in selected sectors of African economies? With Africa's population expected to reach 2 billion by 2050, can we be content with the fact that the impact of digitisation has been mostly discussed in the context of advanced economies? This chapter explores possible effects of digitisation in three economic sectors of African economies. Based on reviews of library, security, and entertainment sectors in selected countries, we interrogate the validity of the disappearing job theory, which is reinforced by the global digital revolution. This chapter is intended to fuel the ongoing discussions about the future of jobs in Africa and the role the International Labour Organization (ilo) might play in sustaining African jobs. Since digitisation in Africa has not yet reached the same level as the developed world, its impact is mostly positive in the selected sectors. However, there is a need to manage any unintended consequences of the emerging digitised workplace. Possible interventions by the ilo and support for Africa's ability to cope with emerging changes are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Development Policy
EditorsChristophe Gironde, Gilles Carbonnier
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameInternational Development Policy
ISSN (Print)1663-9383
ISSN (Electronic)1663-9391

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law


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