The narrative out there is that Africa is the next frontier for almost everything. And it is true. The question is what young professionals in the continent are doing about it?
In 2019 Mohammad Amir Anwar of the University of Edinburgh estimated that there were 120,000 African workers on Upwork, the continent’s most popular platform—fewer than in the Philippines. Most did NOT seem to be making any money. The situation for tanzanian digital freelancers is grim,
Julius P. Kessy, a digital entrepreneur from Tanzania, does not only speak Swahili, he makes money out of it. He is Tanzania’s top-rated English-to-Swahili translator on Upwork, according to a list posted by the platform. The list featured 27 top-rated EN-SW translators but there were only FOUR Tanzanians and TWELVE Kenyans!.
On why there are far fewer EN-SW Tanzanian freelancers on Upwork compared to Kenyans, Julius had this to say:
“Tanzanian youth need to be proactive. I’ve met clients who believe native Swahili is spoken in Kenya. While the owners of the language “Tanzanians” are sleeping on the opportunity. Tanzanians seeing this should wake up and tap into it.”
Dear young professionals in Tanzania, and Africa, projects are being launched in the continent. Whether you’re a language expert, social media manager, graphic designer, or software developer — you can be part of the growing digital economy in the continent.
Africa is filled with abundance!
Here are Top Five Comments Made On Why There Are Few Tanzanian EN-SW Translators On Upwork.
“We are living in a selfish society where everyone wants to be on top of each other, unlike Kenyans and Nigerians who live in a brotherhood society. Additionally, Tanzanian youth are very lazy. Most do not like to stress themselves by looking for solutions.
For example, I have been sharing tips on Twitter about my experiences using Upwork and other freelancing platforms, as well as how to be successful as a freelancer. What I noticed is that most people need to be taught how to register themselves and cannot take the liberty of even scraping resources from the internet.
We will keep on discussing these things until youth’s mindset changes. It is a shame”.
“Tanzania tatizo letu liko sehemu moja tu ukiachilia mbali “Penye miti mingi hapana wajenzi” – Social platforms tumezifanya ni za kuweka picha zetu na familia zetu, self-recording short clip video, umbea na zaidi kulike page without any piloted plan. Zama hizi tumezifanya za kujiskia kujiposti tu ili watu wa-like picha yako, then what?
Acha tuzidiwe, kujifunza social digital issues hatutaki, wacha tusahabikie Simba na yanga tu Sie… Kama hauamini, nenda insta tangaza kuwa unaanzisha program ya kufundsha digital economy na pia utangaze unagroup la discussion ya kuchambua Mpira wa hapa home uone wateja ni group lipi”.
“As an outsider looking into both Kenya and Tanzania I believe you are misjudging the situation. I have looked for and hired speakers and teachers of Kiswahili and have ended up with only Tanzanians in the shortlist!! Similarly, I have worked in the MSME sector in both Nairobi and DSM and I would not say there is a big difference between micro-entrepreneurs in either country.
Offcourse, I have come across laid-back students and graduates in both countries complaining of lack of government support for ‘ajira’ but in reality, I simply ignore them and move on to talk with those with positive growth mindsets of which there are ample examples in both countries. I make no distinction between KES and TZS or even UGX. I have no experience of Nigeria so I will let others comment on that comparative”.
“I’ve been having hard time understanding how Upwork works somebody please enlighten me, I took an assignment once but I got stuck. Why? simply because as soon as I got into a conversation with the person who posted the assignment it really felt like I was talking to a robot and not an actual person so I decided to quit!”.
For more insight follow the conversations on this post