A Trend Attracting African Youth
Today, in most of African countries, the job market is difficult, especially for young graduates. Without being able to find a job that suits them, young graduates are increasingly moving towards the creation of their personal activity. For the more experienced, it can be a combination with a job or retirement. For young people, it is an alternative to the classical job search and a solution to overcome the problem of unemployment.
In Morocco, South Africa, Nigeria, and all African countries where there are metropolitan cities, many workers are turning to freelancing and self-employment. Some of them leave their full-time jobs either in the public or the private sector to set up their own projects, sometimes without a guarantee of being able to derive a sufficient income.
Speaking to Africa.com, 34-year-old Ivorian Freelancer, Ndom Fabrice, thinks freelance jobs can be helpful to so many unemployed graduates. Specializing in scientific data, Fabrice holds a Master’s Degree in Biotechnology. His thesis included two components – biology and computer science. A PhD in bioinformatics was a logical continuation for his career. “But, I decided to stop because I noticed that there were more freelance opportunities in IT than in biology,” said Fabrice.
Fabrice had a full-time job opportunity to work in the IT department at a local company in his country, but he refused.
“I decided to work as freelancer, looking for temporary tasks so that I can work with different companies at the same time. For some people, a full-time job is better, but things have been changed; we should adapt ourselves to these changes, ” said Fabrice.
The same view is also shared by Tunisian, Ahmed Zaitouni, president of “Tunis Freelancers Club” in Tunisia. He thinks that freelancing in Africa will be the fashion of jobs in the next two decades. According to a study conducted by the club in 2016, the fast-growing sectors of new technologies, renewable energies, public services, and communications are all attracting young people to have their own projects and, therefore, working at the same time with different companies and customers. “It is a model that attracts more young people in North Africa who have finally understood that the public sector cannot employ all of them. Therefore, freelance jobs can help them have an income,” explained Zaitouni, who also believes, “A full-time job limits freedom, development and innovation.”
For this generation of web entrepreneurs, the traditional model of the employment contract, the relationship of subordination with an employer is not necessarily of great interest. These experts earn more by working freelance and can continue to progress and learn much faster by being independent than by staying in the same job for several years.
For Moroccan, Toufik Bougarne, Director and Founder of PsdMaroc Magazine, a famous freelance designer with more than 13 years of experience in the field of design, branding and typography, there are a variety of sectors in Morocco where freelancers can innovate and make successful careers. Graphic Design, according to Bougarne, is one of the areas where talented young people can work alone or with a company; they just need to have a laptop and to unlock their imagination to show their intellectual and emotional abilities. He stressed that young people can be successful freelancers if they can create a good relationship with the customer and have the technical capabilities on the one hand, and the ability to do self-marketing and convince customers on the other hand.
“I think individuals and companies have finally understood that freelance can solve a lot of problems, which is also good for companies in terms of cost, as freelancing work out costs a little less than a full-time employee. Freelancers cannot compete with companies, but they would rather cooperate with them. The development of freelance starts from the freelancer, himself. It starts with organizing the tools of work and time, and ends with finalizing the final work to meet the needs of the customer. It is essential for young freelancers to know how to do self-marketing and how to search for business partners, whether they are individuals, institutions or companies,” said Bougarne.