- By Sam Fenwick
- BBC Business Daily presenter
The BBC outlines three African women – a former shop owner, a teacher and a taxi driver – who have increased their incomes since adopting digital platforms.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to rethink how they make a living.
Independent research group Caribou Digital has found that women in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana are benefiting from the low entry barrier and the flexibility of the digital economy, which allows them to earn their own money while retaining custody. of children.
Mrs. Tarit (pictured above) did not expect to double her income in nine months.
The Covid pandemic had forced the closure of its baby clothing store in Eldoret, western Kenya, and subletting properties through online platforms such as Airbnb seemed like a practical interim measure.
But Ms Tarit, 29, is now one of a growing number of African women who are finding new careers using platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and travel apps such as Uber and Bolt.
He started his business with a property nine months ago and is now seven, taking on long-term leases and subleasing Airbnb.
“I make a lot more money than I did before the pandemic,” Ms Tarit told BBC Business Daily.
People who use their business are mainly tourists who book holiday accommodation and business people who prefer to stay on an Airbnb rather than a hotel.
“During Covid, many of my friends lost their jobs and started using digital platforms to make money. They now sell groceries online and work as distributors,” Ms Tarit said.
A normal day for Ms. Adzogble, 32, begins with the posting of product ads on WhatsApp and Facebook from her home in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
It is taking advantage of one of the most important changes in the African economy: the rise of online markets.
He sells mobile phones, air conditioners and TVs by advertising and posting in groups he has created on WhatsApp and Facebook, as well as existing groups such as his church group.
Ms. Adzogble quit her job as a French teacher to focus on her online business.
“It pays better than education. I can sell an item and earn more than a month’s education. I am a mother. I have to give my children the best education possible and they motivate me to get my financial independence,” she said.
For Ms. Adzogble, building strong customer relationships is key to making money online.
“That way they’ll buy you and give you good feedback,” he said.
Ms. Lawal, 34, works for Uber and Bolt shared travel companies in Nigeria’s main city, Lagos.
However, it has not been easy: the single mother of four said some men refused to be driven by a woman.
“When I started driving taxis in Lagos, all the men canceled their trips when I arrived to pick them up,” Lawal said.
“Lagos is a bit difficult and you have to be very strong to drive in the city. Men think I have no strength. I have to convince them to get in the car,” he added.
The Caribou Digital study also found that many women who use digital platforms to make a living worry about their safety.
“Many of the women we spoke to said they had been sexually harassed when they took taxis,” principal investigator Grace Natabaalo told the BBC.
“While governments encourage young women to do this work, they must recognize the other side: that there are dangers and that the police and government services must take them seriously,” she said.
But Lawal said the positives outweigh the negatives.
“Making a living is important, but I also want to contribute to the economy as a whole by paying taxes. I want to grow and grow Nigeria’s economy,” he said.
- You can listenhere(in English) the three women tell their stories to Sam Fenwick.