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The growth of digital platforms in Africa could offer new opportunities to bridge the gap between often-insecure informal work and formal employment. Portable benefits, which move with a freelance worker from gig to gig, could drive this transition.There are already about 300 active digital platforms in Africa, employing close to 5 million workers. According to the International Labor Organization, 85 percent of workers in Africa are employed informally, and therefore do not declare their income or register their businesses.Uber, for example, has recently lost a series of lawsuits in the United Kingdom instigated by drivers seeking access to basic benefits like minimum wage and holiday pay. In an effort to appease their workers, platforms are experimenting with additional incentives for contract workers. Such policies should ensure that benefits are portable and tied to the worker rather than the platform, so that people can choose the ones that suit them.By introducing portable benefits for gig workers, African governments and digital platforms can help to power the continent's future growth.
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