This book addresses the question of whether greater inclusion in the global economy offers a solution to rising unemployment and poverty in contemporary Africa. The authors trace the connection between global demographic change and new mechanisms of economic inclusion via global value chains, digital networks, labour migration, and corporate engagement with the bottom of the pyramid, challenging the claim that African workers have become functionally irrelevant to the global economy. They expose the shift of global demand for African workers from formal to increasingly informalised labour arrangements, mediated by social enterprises, labour brokers, graduate entrepreneurs and grassroots associations. Focusing on global employment connections initiated from above and from below, the authors examine whether global labour linkages increase or reduce problems of vulnerable and unstable working conditions within African countries, and considers the economic and political conditions needed for African workers to capture the gains of inclusion in the global economy. This book was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of Development Studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Global Economic Inclusion and African Workers
Kate Meagher, Laura Mann and Maxim Bolt
1. The Scramble for Africans: Demography, Globalisation and Africa’s Informal Labour Markets
2. ‘Integration’ or ‘Selective Incorporation’? The Modes of Governance in Informal Trading Policy in the Inner City of Johannesburg
3. Remaking Africa’s Informal Economies: Youth, Entrepreneurship and the Promise of Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid
Catherine Dolan and Dinah Rajak
4. The Domestic Turn: Business Process Outsourcing and the Growing Automation of Kenyan Organisations
Laura Mann and Mark Graham
5. Do Transnational Links Matter after Return? Labour Market Participation among Ghanaian Return Migrants
Mary Boatemaa Setrana and Steve Tonah
6. Accidental Neoliberalism and the Performance of Management: Hierarchies in Export Agriculture on the Zimbabwean-South African Border
7. Resilient Labour:Workplace Regimes, Globalisation and Enclave Development in Swaziland
Kate Meagher is an Associate Professor at the Department of International Development, London School of Economics. She specializes in African informal economies and real governance, and has published widely on contemporary dilemmas of informality and economic inclusion, including Identity Economics: Social Networks and the Informal Economy in Nigeria.
Laura Mann is an Assistant Professor at the Department of International Development, London School of Economics. Her research and publications include work on political economy of development, African higher education and labour issues and critical approaches to new information and communication technologies in Africa.
Maxim Bolt is Lecturer in Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Birmingham, and a Research Associate at the University of the Witwatersrand. His first book – Zimbabwe’s Migrants and South Africa’s Border Farms: The Roots of Impermanence – explores wage labour in a place of transience and informal livelihoods.