One of the major areas that contribute to any economy is employment. And in Africa, it is a challenge that is yet to be solved completely. It is an ongoing conversation where those that are affected the most are trying their best to engage their various leaders. On the continent, the youth are plagued with unemployment, because the number of them graduating every year does not match the number of jobs available.
Both male and females are affected, and with personal and social pressure to be productive, the youth are getting creative and more proactive about their survival. That’s where freelancing comes in: an opportunity for young people to take their future into their own hands and affect their economy for the better.
Freelancing Around The World
Around the world, freelancing is quite popular, with proper recognition as a form of work. This employment option is most prevalent in Europe, with about 35.5% based in that region. Then follow Latin America and Asia, with 29.2% and 29% respectively. Africa occupies about 10% of that community, with the statistic expected to grow in the coming years.
Close to 30 million freelancers are doing it long-term and not just as a side hustle, showing that it is adding value to the way people work. About 31% of freelancers earn up to $75,000 a year, making it a great source of income as well.
Freelancing In Africa
Over the years, freelancing has gradually moved from being just a trend to a force that showcases the industriousness of the African youth. With a difficult job market, which seems to prioritize experience that most fresh graduates do not have, freelancing seems to be the answer to the problem.
In addition, even though these graduates have the qualification, they don’t seem to get paid their worth. Even full-time workers have considered or actually left their place of employment to engage in freelancing.
Job searching is also increasingly becoming more tedious without yielding many positive results. That’s why there has been a shift in self-employment. While some look at it as a short-term solution, others grow into it and thrive. In both cases, a problem is solved, and fewer people are idle.
It is not only young people that benefit from freelancing. Businesses, small and large, are also seeing the advantages of freelancing. Especially for those who do not have the resources to hire in-house employees, freelancing is the next best thing. Outsourcing to these individuals saves cost, and in so many ways.
There is no longer a need for expenses like rent, utilities etc. and the charges of freelancers are considerably lower. Indeed, some of the world’s giants in businesses used this mechanism to build the brand. This mode of employment gives staff the freedom to have a more balanced life.
The traditional structure of work is gradually dissolving, and people are looking for more value for their money. With this employment option, all the company needs to do is review past work or speak to other clients of the freelancer they are trying to hire, before bringing them on board.
Freelancing in Africa is expected to grow and thrive, and so the sector must get all the needed support. One of the challenges that freelancers face is getting access and exposure to the institutions or bodies that may need their services. Most times, some of them team up to form associations to bring such opportunities, but that can only go so far.
With platforms like kreekafrica.com, freelancers are connected to entities that need their services and vice versa. It also gives African freelancers a unique platform that caters to their specific needs, devoid of discrimination that they usually face in the western space.
This presents a more efficient, cost-effective and smart way of doing business. With fortune 500 companies hiring their workforce from such platforms elsewhere, there is no doubt that it is a meaningful way for Africa to get the best out of its people and enterprises.
With technology and the internet becoming more widespread in Africa, the freelancing economy is bound to get larger. That also sets the premise for stakeholders to come on board to facilitate that process. Freelancers are not only looking to make a quick buck but to grow in their various careers.
With about 24% of that community holding a bachelor’s degree, it can be said that education is of value to them. The statistics also show that freelancers participate in extra education programs and other capacity-building engagements to stay relevant in their industries.
Therefore it can be ascertained that freelancing is in no way a mediocre venture and can shape the African economy.
No matter the industry, there is a movement into and the growth of the gig economy on the African continent.
The future holds many possibilities, and it is possible that this new wave could be a positive influence on the African continent. It spells a better quality of life for both the businesses and individuals on the continent.
Source: Ghana Web