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How millions of Kenyans are earning a living from online platforms

By Mary Wangari September 21st, 2021 2 min read

At least 1.2 million Kenyans earn their income via online platforms, latest report by the government has revealed.

The report released on Monday, September 20, by the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) indicated that five percent of adult population in Kenya have found employment on digital platforms.

While releasing the report dubbed Ajira Digital 2021, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Joe Mucheru, pointed out that Kenya has the potential to become the global headquarter for freelancing.

“Our June 2021 National study on digital and digitally-enabled work & awareness of the Ajira Digital Program in Kenya established that 5% of the adult population in Kenya are digital workers, which translates to 1.2 Million Kenyans,”

“We all need to be ambassadors of change, ensure that what has been established, continues to grow. Kenya can be the freelancing headquarters of the world. The future we want, cannot be achieved independently…we value partnerships and unity for growth,” read a post by Mucheru.

The report indicated an upsurge in a number of services offered online led by digital marketing which has 282,041 online workers engaging in it which translates to 22 percent.

Data entry and article writing followed in hot pursuit at 21 percent and 20 percent respectively.

“Kenyans offer different services on online forums. Digital platforms for sports betting, virtual assistants, surveys among others have recorded an increase,” the report read in part.

According to the report, increase in the number of online workers was as a result of more people working on part-time basis on digital websites with academic writing listed among top sectors providing employment for the youth.

What currently inhibits and inspires Kenyans to pursue digital work is the opportunity to work part-time,” it said.

Lack of online skills and internet connectivity were identified by the report as huge obstacles to online workers.

“Skills gap, lack of access to Wi-Fi and high costs of internet are the main challenges,” it said.

The latest developments come five years since the government launched Ajira Digital Program through the ICT Ministry.

The program is aimed at bridging the gap between demand for skilled labor and lack of employment opportunities.