HARTENBOS, WESTERN CAPE, South Africa – An exclusive African cryptocurrency, SAFCOIN, has launched Africa’s first blockchain-powered micro-jobs platform, aimed at connecting businesses and gig economy workers across Africa, for free.
MobiJobs.Africa lets start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses list jobs, search freelancer profiles, and establish an online presence without set-up, hosting, or development costs. It also lets freelancers market their skills, build their experience, and “buy” listed jobs, even if they don’t have a bank account. There are no joining, account, or transaction fees, and jobs are paid for in SAFCOIN cryptocurrency.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, over 40 percent of South Africa’s youth, aged between 15 and 34, were unemployed, and 13.4 million youth in Africa do not have jobs.
Now, technology is enabling the growth of the freelance, or “gig” economy, with more people taking on short-term, flexible tasks to make money. In South Africa, 3.9 million people were in temporary employment in 2018, up from 2.6 million in 2017. In Africa, nearly 86 percent of employment is informal.
MobiJobs aims to empower more Africans to access global work opportunities, grow their experience, and sell their skills and talent online. All they need is a mobile phone or laptop and connectivity.
Digitally and financially empowered
Jobseekers in Africa have, until now, been restricted from participating in digital shared labour platforms like MobiJobs because they had little or no access to bank accounts. In fact, around 1.7 billion, or 62 percent of sub-Saharan Africans, are unbanked.
Those that do have bank accounts pay high transaction, pay-out, and commission fees, which eats into their freelance earnings.
MobiJobs uses blockchain technology to eliminate banking fees. Powered by SAFCOIN cryptocurrency, it facilitates an easy, secure payment process between individuals and businesses through the SAFPay gateway. Payment is secured before the service provider begins the job, and is released once the job is marked as completed.
Through the MobiJobs Workdesk, freelancers can manage their jobs, advertise their skills, communicate with clients, and rate their experience.
Neil Ferreira, chief executive officer of SAFCOIN, says: “Our goal with MobiJobs is to help individuals in Africa to take their skills and talents global and to empower small businesses to tap into a global skills pool, as and when they need to. Through the platform, users can gain experience, build their internship hours while studying, ask for testimonials from businesses they’ve completed tasks for, and build relationships with companies across Africa. All this via a free cryptocurrency payment gateway that ensures they get paid quickly and securely, with zero transaction charges.”
Taking Africa into the fourth industrial revolution
The fourth industrial revolution has resulted in thousands of job losses as technology increasingly takes on roles traditionally performed by humans. But the benefit is that the same technology that drives this revolution can also empower individuals to access a global jobs marketplace and opportunities in less-penetrated e-commerce markets.
MasterCard predicts that African e-commerce may generate over $500 billion a year by 2030, equivalent to nearly ten percent of GDP, and the World Economic Forum says e-commerce will generate three million new jobs in Africa by 2025.
“Combining cryptocurrency and the blockchain with e-commerce is a huge breakthrough for the industry. Adoption of cryptocurrency across Africa is increasing steadily and usage is arguably the highest among emerging markets,” says Ferreira.
“Africa is evolving into the fourth industrial revolution and we’re proud to be at the forefront, creating awareness, educating people, and connecting the youth and businesses through blockchain and cryptocurrency-powered platforms like SAFCOIN and MobiJobs.”