The gig economy continues to grow as more businesses around the world see the benefits of hiring freelance workers for their projects. AfriBlocks is driving the participation of African freelancers in the wider gig economy. There are many factors that have influenced the growth of the gig economy and the changes that it brings to the wider employment network. It is our goal to provide African professionals with a platform through which they can have equal access to the global gig economy.
This transformation in the way we approach work has been coming for decades and today, there are many professionals that prefer to render their services through these ‘gigs’. For businesses, this model allows them to hire professionals on a short-term basis for services that they do not necessarily need regularly. This brings agility to a business’ operations while allowing financial sustainability as they do not need to spend more than is necessary.
What do the numbers tell us?
The number of freelance workers globally is growing year on year and this has, in recent times, been compounded by the global pandemic and a growing preference for remote work. Africa is in a strong position in this regard because it carries the world’s youngest population, with an average age of 25. This young population translates to a huge chunk of the workforce that is supposed to serve the global market in the decades to come.
In 2018, the global gig economy was said to be worth $204 billion and it is expected to grow to about $455 billion by 2023. This represents a year-on-year growth of about 17.4%, which is expected to continue until at least 2026. While this growth is occurring in the global gig economy, there is a need to increase the fair participation of African professionals in this sector.
AfriBlocks’ drive to include African freelancers in the global economy
African freelancers face a variety of challenges in accessing the global gig economy. Some of these include unfair wage structures, lack of infrastructure (Afrocentric marketplaces, payment options, etc.), and inconsistent availability of jobs. Due to these challenges, African freelancers are left to participate inequitably in a market that is, in theory, supposed to provide equal access to opportunities.
AfriBlocks is a freelance talent marketplace that is stepping in with a bid to improve the prospects of African freelancers. There are three main parts of the network that are of importance in increasing the participation of African freelancers in the global gig economy and they are:
Access to well-paying gigs is one of the pressing issues in the African freelance market. AfriBlocks aims to provide freelancers with access to jobs that pay them fairly and consistently. Africa is home to some of the world’s best talent and this talent deserves to work on projects that reflect their level of capability.
Sometimes, freelancers struggle to secure payments for work that they would have completed. This discourages some talented individuals from pursuing freelance careers. AfriBlocks has created secure payment systems that ensure that talent is paid for work completed. The platform is also working on an integrated payment system that will allow a freelancer to have access to funds earned regardless of their location.
The AfriBlocks network comes with infrastructure that is developed with the Africa freelancer in mind. The first step in achieving this Afrocentricity is that AfriBlocks only allows the registration of African freelancers. This is an important part of the drive to include more African freelancers in the global gig economy.
The global gig economy is growing rapidly as more businesses turn to freelance talent to address their needs. At the same time, more professionals have a growing preference for freelance work as it comes with a number of liberties that do not exist in the traditional workspace. AfriBlocks is here as a platform that gives African talent access to the wider gig economy and transforms the way professionals on the continent approach freelance work.