Players in the informal sector will need to digitize their business ventures to enable them create a wider market for their goods and services.
This, according to industry players will help solve access to work issues for the ‘Jua Kali’ workers as well expand markets for businesses to enable them tap on regional and global markets.
Dr. Ehud Gachugu, Project Director Ajira Digital Program and Youth Employment at KEPSA says that Jua Kali’ workers need to explore the digital opportunities that will improve their access to work, markets and create jobs.
“Digital and digitally-enabled work is becoming increasingly important in providing solutions for most enterprises and a potential pathway to socio-economic development,” Dr. Ehud Gachugu, said.
He pointed out that the failure to adopt digitization has resulted in irregular work and few work opportunities which translates to low wages.
The Kenyan demographics show that over 75 percent of its population are individuals aged 18-34 years and who form the majority of employees in the informal enterprises in the country.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 2022 economic survey, Kenya’s informal sector accounts for more than 80 percent of the country’s workforce.
In 2021, 753.8 thousand new jobs were created in the informal sector out of 926.1 thousand total jobs created.
“The digital platforms play both the role of intermediaries and aggregators and therefore the risks of underpayment or lack of payment by the customers can also be mitigated,” he added.
Wholesale and retail trade, as well as repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, make up the predominant activities in the sector but there are other activities including carpentry, hairdressing, plumbing, and artisans among other such informal enterprises.
Mutembei Kariuki, Co-Founder and CEO Fastagger, an AI and Blockchain platform powering businesses and customer engagement, says Penetration of the internet and mobile subscription has catalyzed the growth of adoption of digital technology and this covers even workers in the informal sector.
“This is an indication of the growing acceptance of doing business through digital platforms and embracing technology to market and transact business,” noted
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