Digital Labour at Economic Margins: African Workers and the Global Information Economy

Review of African Political Economy, 2019

12 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2020 Last revised: 15 Jan 2020

See all articles by Mohammad Amir Anwar

Mohammad Amir Anwar

Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh; Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford; School of Tourism and Hospitality Management

Mark Graham

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Date Written: December 6, 2019

Abstract

In discussions about the locations that make up the key productive nodes of the digital economy, Africa workers rarely gets a mention. The main aim of this briefing is to make visible the invisible and bring light to the role African workers are playing in developing key emergent and everyday digital technologies such as autonomous vehicles, machine learning systems, next-generation search engines and recommendations systems. Once we acknowledge that many contemporary digital technologies rely on a lot of human labour to drive their interfaces, we can begin to piece together what the new global division of labour for digital work looks like and build a greater socio-political response (both at the global and local scale) to make some of these value chains more transparent, ethical and rewarding.

Keywords: Digital Labour, Gig Economy, Gig Economy, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Search Engine Optimisation, Future of Work, Africa

Suggested Citation

Anwar, Mohammad Amir and Graham, Mark, Digital Labour at Economic Margins: African Workers and the Global Information Economy (December 6, 2019). Review of African Political Economy, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3499706

Mohammad Amir Anwar (Contact Author)

Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JY
United Kingdom

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

School of Tourism and Hospitality Management

PO Box 524
Auckland Park
Johannesburg, Gauteng 2006
South Africa

Mark Graham

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.geospace.co.uk

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