Uganda: Covid Accelerates Growth of Uganda's Gig Economy

2 September 2021

A new survey conducted by Centre for Global Development has shown that almost two-thirds (60 per cent) of youth are now involved in the gig economy, amid massive job losses due to Covid-19 disruptions.

The gig economy involves less commitment for both workers and companies with work executed at agreeable terms.

The survey indicates that the gig economy is rapidly taking shape, supported by the digital shift that continues to aid young people in accessing engagements away from office and traditional work setups.

This comes at a time when Uganda Bureau of Statistics, under the 2019/20 Uganda National Household Survey, noted that employment had declined to 39 per cent from 48 per cent during the 2016/17 financial year.

The survey was based on interviews conducted among 13,732 households during the period between February 2019 and November 2020.

Mr Max Walter, the Centre for Global Development co-founder, while releasing the survey findings said a great section of the population, especially youth have now embraced the gig economy to survival instead of chasing nonexistent jobs in the formal sector.

"Whereas gig workers may not enjoy all benefits associated with full-time employees, it is possible to offer perks such as training and better income that would motivate workers and encourage more to take up more gigs," he said, noting that challenges notwithstanding, the gig economy remains the future of youth workers in Uganda since it will be a long time before government can provide avenue through which they can be employed.

Mr Walter also noted that just like Europe and the Americas, the future of work will dictate that people work multiple gigs with "somewhat formal entities, noting this had already taken shape and can only continue growing in the foreseeable future.

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