2024 PEP Annual Conference - Kenya

The 2024 PEP Annual Conference in Nairobi, Kenya brought together 166 researchers, practitioners, international experts, representatives of donor and international organizations, and policy actors from 29 countries for a highly successful event from June 3 to 6.

Research teams at different project stages participated to present their progress or findings for discussion and peer review. PEP staff provided a one-day Research Communication Workshop to help the project teams prepare to disseminate their findings.

A conference highlight was PEP’s annual high-level Policy Conference, “The Future of Work in the Global South” on June 5. The morning session looked at "What Works for Youth Employment in Africa" and the afternoon session discussed the "AI Revolution and Labour Markets in Developing Countries".

Group shot of participants and attendees at the 2024 PEP Annual Conference, plus funder logos

166 people

View of front (stage and screens) from back

joined us in


Nairobi, Kenya


This 2024 Conference was organized thanks to the support of five funders and partners as part of seven ongoing programs:


Project Presentations and Mentor Meetings

Representatives of 26 project teams currently receiving PEP support participated to present their project progress or findings. The teams discussed their presentations with an audience of their peers and PEP-affiliated international experts. These sessions provided valuable feedback to the teams to improve their reports.

The teams met with their scientific, and for some also their policy mentors, on an individual basis to discuss how to incorporate the feedback they received during the presentation sessions. These meetings provided a rare in-person opportunity for the teams to receive specific advice on the challenges they face as they progress with their projects.

Building capacity for policy research outreach

A key part of PEP’s mission is to build and improve the technical knowledge and communication skills of developing country researchers. PEP provided researchers with an intensive (one-day) workshop reviewing best practices for communicating research.

During this workshop, PEP's Communications Team discussed key guidelines and practical tips to help grantees with concluding projects prepare the effective dissemination and communication of their findings.

Download the presentation


Conference room with Richa presenting

2024 Policy Conference

The Future of Work in the Global South 

On June 5, PEP hosted a high-level policy conference on “The Future of Work in the Global South”. More than 160 people from almost 30 countries attended, including researchers, international experts, stakeholders, donors, and decision makers, to discuss two key topics for how future of work will look in the Global South:

  • What Works for Youth Employment in Africa
  • The AI Revolution and Labour Markets in Developing Countries

See our 2024 PEP Policy Conference blog for a full account of the policy conference, its outcomes and takeaways. Some key moments are summarised below.


What Works for Youth Employment in Africa

Francis Adebayo, Assistant Chief Planning Officer, Federal Ministry of Finance, Nigeria, speaks on the first panel

The event featured panel discussions on each of the key topics. The first panel brought together research, social enterprise, policy, and youth interests from East and West Africa to discuss barriers to youth employment and how to overcome them.

“Vocational training for youth is essential to break the cycle of poverty,” Francis Adebayo, Assistant Chief Planning Officer, Federal Ministry of Finance, Nigeria.

Dibo M. Willis-Ambetsa, Managing Founder and CEO of OnTrak Kenya, concurred, saying: “Without training, I would not be here today. I am a big advocate for training and we cascade this through my organisation, OnTrak Kenya.”

Then the discussion moved to small groups, organised by geographic region. The participants identified the three main policy actions they would put in place over the next 12 months to create dignified and fulfilling work for the youth, based on the findings so far.

The AI Revolution and Labour Markets in Developing Countries

Ekkehard Ernst of the International Labour Organization opened the afternoon session with a keynote presentation on what workers and policymakers may expect as artificial intelligence becomes a larger part of our lives. He pinpointed “strategic development, regulation, and governance” as vital for using AI in a way that protects workers and can deliver on existing priorities, such as green transitions.

The second panel brought together public policy experts with tech industry leaders. One side urged caution, the other identified promising areas for progress. Similar to the morning session, the panel found consensus on the topic of training.

“For ethical AI development, ensure that platform workers have the same rights and formal workers and make AI-enhanced jobs more accessible to women through training,” said Megan Ballesty, Co-lead and Public Policy Specialist, Sur Futuro, Argentina.

Phyllis Migwi speaks on the second panel
Audience comments

“Addressing the challenges that prevent girls from getting an education is key to addressing the gender bias in tech,” concurred Phyllis Migwi, Country General Manager, Microsoft East Africa.

The event benefitted greatly from audience participation. In addition to the table discussion session, those in the room asked insightful questions and added valuable comments at the end of each presentation and panel discussion.

Find out more about the outcomes of the 2024 PEP Policy Conference in our blog, or watch the full event video on YouTube.

Blog     Full Event Video


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