Kenya’s gig economy is being projected to reach $345 million and will employ a total of 93,875 by 2023 according to a report on the current state and the future outlook of the industry.
“However this growth is not quick enough to effectively address the unemployment gap in the country, reads the report.
Mercy Corps’ Youth Impact Labs (YIL) report dubbed ‘Towards A Digital Workforce: Understanding The Building Blocks Of Kenya’s Gig Economy’, the online gig economy in Kenya operates across several sectors, including driver and rider services, personal and household services business services, delivery services, professional services, hospitality and medical care.
According to the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, on average, 500,000 to 800,000 young Kenyans enter the job market annually, however, the economy is unable to provide employment opportunities.
“Overall growth of the sector in terms of earnings and workers will be 33 percent and 27 percent respectively. Key growth ‘sectors’ in terms of earnings will include ride-hailing
platforms (37 percent average annual growth) and blue-collar matchmaking platforms (63 percent average annual growth),” reads the report.
The survey found that Kenya’s gig economy is driven by the demand side, especially in transport and domestic service uptake by urban households.
“While demand for gig workers in the transport and domestic industries has grown as a result of high uptake of platforms such as Uber, Safe Boda and Lynk, uptake of online professional services offered by gig workers is still very low, especially among corporates due to misperception of poor quality.”
The report estimates that the total size of the online Kenyan gig economy, as at 2019 is $109 million and employing a total of 36,573 gig workers.
This is in comparison with the offline Kenyan gig economy estimated to employ 5.1 million workers accounting for $19.6 billion in 2019 across six key sectors, namely agriculture, manufacturing, trade & hospitality, construction, transport & communication and community, social & personal services.
Drivers of the gig economy
- Ride hailing platforms
- Online rentals
- Online professional work platforms
- Blue-collar matchmaking platforms