Dates and times:
The pandemic’s impact has been particularly devastating for Africa due to high levels of inequality, more heterogeneous working conditions, weaker social protection systems and constricted fiscal space. African economies rely on exports of labour-intensive goods or commodities as well as tourism-dependent economies have struggled to adjust to volatile and shifting demand. Poverty has increased significantly among working people. Prolonged lockdowns and travel bans, unthinkable before the pandemic, have disrupted supply chains, leading to negative consequences for direct and indirect employment linked to production networks. The pandemic has restructured labour markets as some sectors and their workers have experienced retrenchment while others have seen expansion. Working from home, hybrid work and gig platforms will continue to play a more prominent role in the world of work than before. The vast majority of informal enterprises are small or micro; informal enterprises have fared worse in the pandemic than formal ones, partly because they have been unable to access formal lines of credit or COVID-19-related government support.
Although the region's economy rebounded in 2021, Africa's economic growth outlook remains highly uncertain owing to the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Even if economic growth increases, a return to the pre-crisis baseline for Africa’s labour market will not be sufficient to repair the damage caused by the pandemic, including the reversal of gains with respect to international labour standards. These challenges have compounded the situation in a world of work that was already in transition as a result of demographic shifts, technological disruptions and climate change.
The velocity and effectiveness of technology innovation, adoption, policy, and regulation have accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organisations are investing more heavily in AI tools that help them meet the needs of their customers such as intelligent automation, and artificial intelligence (AI), & cloud-based solutions .
Although African countries have benefited from the acceleration of technological uptake across sectors, such as health care, the region still grapples with gaps in critical areas, including in human capacity and infrastructure.
Under the projected global warming trajectory, the impacts of climate change could make many parts of Africa uninhabitable.
Although Africa’s historical and current emissions of greenhouse gases are minimal, the region will suffer some of climate change’s most severe consequences if not adequately addressed. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) promises to increase intra-regional trade and to boost industrialisation and manufacturing.
However, this will require a focus on connectivity and infrastructure; the protection of SMEs, commodity producers in rural areas, and less developed countries that might suffer in the process; as well as standards for working conditions.
In light of the above it is necessary to re-assess labour law's role in regulating the world of work and to reflect on how to re-shape it to meet the demands of a rapidly changing environment. We invite researchers and practitioners to submit abstracts on the following sub-themes and other topical issues.
1. The future of work: The implications of digital transformation and hybrid work for labour law
2. Strengthening social protection systems in a volatile environment
3. Going digital: Building effective dispute resolution, collective bargaining and social dialogue on digital platforms
4. The Africa Free Trade Agreement: Labour law perspectives on promoting intra-African trade
5. Adapting to climate change and promoting sustainability in the world of work
6. Workplace privacy and data protection
Should you be interested in presenting, please forward the following:
A proposed title of your topic;
A short outline of about 100 words of what you envisage the content of your presentation will be;
Indicate which platform you propose to present - Live Presentation; or Live Video Stream
150-word bio in narrative form, not CV format please – per speaker. The narrative should ideally be written in the 3rd person.
Colour Photo – jpeg format – (head and shoulders preferably and high resolution)
15 September 2022: Submission of abstracts
15 October 2022: Notification of acceptance
15 December 2022: Submission of 4 or 5 page document outlining the key arguments to be made in the presentation
1 March 2023: Presentation to be emailed to the organisers
TYPES OF PRESENTATION:
• Plenary session – 40 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions
• Panel discussion – 40 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions
• Address – 25 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions
• Interactive session/Ideas Exchange/Workshop – 50 minutes
1. When considering which presentations will be selected, consideration will be given to the relevance and interest of the topic to the platform as well as whether this topic has been done before. The speaker committee would prefer that speakers will present physically in Mauritius, if possible.
2. The Management committee may have to ask speakers to co-present if the topics are similar and reserves the right to move the presentation to a different platform to balance the programme.
3. Confirmed speakers will receive a complimentary registration to the event.
4. The speaker will cover their own travel costs to Mauritius, local transportation and accommodation costs.