Ghana digital platform founders discuss improving working conditions for workers
There is a growing number of digital platforms in Ghana that offer jobs to the country’s growing number of job seekers. But increasingly, fair work conditions in the sector have come up for discussions and there are efforts to improve working conditions for employees.
In 2021 and 2022, Fairwork Ghana, an action-research project that is coordinated by the University of Oxford in partnership with the University of Ghana Business School did an evaluation of digital labour platforms in the country, and found that, the quality of the working conditions provided by many of the major digital platforms is poor.
According to a press release from Fariwork copied to Ghana Business News, a total of 12 platforms operating primarily in the ride-hailing and food delivery sectors (The BlackRide, Bolt, Bolt Food, Feenix, InDriver, JumiaFood, Swift-Wheels, Uber, Yango, Glovo, iFerch and Eziban) were evaluated in relation to their ability provide work that is characterised by the five principles of Fairwork: fair pay, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management, and fair representation.
The 2022 Fairwork Ghana report demonstrated that significant improvements were needed across the Ghanaian platform economy for workers to be able to access fair working conditions.
In addition to emphasising the need for improvements, the 2022 report highlighted that platforms have the power to choose to provide fair working conditions to workers; bringing to light exemplary practices and policies introduced by certain platforms, which has helped to improve the lives of platform workers in Ghana.
It is in this regard that the founders of Eziban and The Black Ride, two digital labour platforms, attended an international workshop hosted by Fairwork in Mauritius, to discuss better working conditions in the African platform economy.
The event brought together platform founders and managers that have engaged with Fairwork to implement pro-worker changes in the African Platform economy. It created a space for networking and peer learning. In doing so, it facilitated productive dialogue between like-minded platforms that are seeking to take pro-active steps to improve working conditions for platform workers in Africa. As a result of their participation, many of the platforms made direct commitments to further exploring ways of integrating the Fairwork principles into their work processes and structures.
The event was sponsored by Invest for Jobs – an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It addressed the issue of creating jobs in Africa, whilst providing decent working conditions for workers.
By Peter Quarshie