WP 201703 - Correlates of ICTs and Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa

Safia Khan, Kezia Lilenstein, Morné Oosthuizen & Christopher Rooney

Date of Publication: 
March 2017


The potential for Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to influence development have been widely documented, however the impact of ICTs on the employment prospects of those in SSA have been poorly recorded, with most studies focused on specific localised contexts. This paper models the impact of ICTs on the employment outcomes of individuals in 12 African countries, taking into account the varying nature of self-employment compared to other types of third party employment. The paper finds a correlation between mobile phone ownership, the intensity of mobile phone use, and employment in a selection of countries and contexts. Internet use in 2012 is largely unrelated to the employment outcome in these countries. The impact of ICT use differs by geolocation, sex and age. Older people, most likely with more established prior networks, are more likely to have ICTs impact their employment outcome. ICTs are more likely to influence the employment outcome of males, and those in urban areas.

Download Working Paper: DPRU WP 201703