NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 21 – Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Monday said Kenyans working online earn an average of Shs 20,774 monthly with females accounting for 33 pc of all digital workers while those aged between 18 and 35 representing 83 percent of all the workers.
Overall, the report dubbed National Study on Digital and Digitally Enabled Work in Kenya noted that the total digital workers rose from 638,400 in 2019 to 1,209,506 people(representing five percent of the adult population.)
“ Female workers accounted for 402,284 while workers between the ages of 18 to 35 made up 1,007,277 of the individuals doing digital and digitally-enabled jobs,” the report which was conducted by Trends and Insights for Africa revealed.
The online workers are distributed among digital marketers (461,523), transcribers (141,021), article writers (250,000), software developers (76,921), and data scientists (64,100).
“The study added that the average hourly pay was Shs 2,001. On a work basis, this was Shs 2,579 and in a week the pay stood at Shs 7,549 compared to earnings per project which was Shs7,110,” the report said
Thirty-one percent of the digital workers told the pollster that they adopted digitally-enabled work due to lack of formal employment opportunities while another 21 percent preferred it due to its flexibility and convenience
Another 18 percent noted that the choice of working digitally was due to its ability to work part-time.
Among the key barriers listed by digital workers included expensive internet costs at (53 percent), lack of skills to participate in some digital platforms at (52percent) and lack of access to WiFi or internet connectivity at (21 percent).
“Access to internet, prohibitive cost of internet, family barriers as primary caregivers, cultural barriers, cyberbullying, lower internet usage skills and competition with experienced local and international gig workers stood out as barriers specific to women,” the report added.
ICT, Innovation and Youth Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru noted that the Ajira Digital Program, which was aimed at introducing unemployed but skilled youth to the gig economy has achieved tremendous success.
The program which is in its 6th year is being implemented by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance in partnership with eMobilis with funding from the Mastercard Foundation, under the Young Africa Works in Kenya initiative.
“This study is a clear testament of the hard work that has gone into nurturing, growing, and positioning the Ajira Digital program as a change-maker in how our young people access work and job opportunities”, he said.
KEPSA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Carole Kariuki, reiterated his remarks noting that ” 63 percent of adult Kenyans nationally were aware of the digital gig economy and that awareness of the Ajira Digital Program had increased from 5.5 million people (14percent) in 2019 to 7.3 million people (29 percent) in 2021. “
“79 percent of adult Kenyans nationally said they highly approve of the Ajira Digital Program, which shows that we are well on the way towards achieving the country’s objective of creating a globally competitive knowledge-based middle-income economy”, she said