Blow To Ruto as Remotasks Fires All Kenyans, Discontinues Operations in Kenya

March 12, 2024

One of President Ruto’s flagship programmes has been facilitating digital jobs for millions of Kenyan youths.

The president has opened several so called ICT Hubs around the country, with a promise to work with MCAs to have one hub in every ward. He has promised that the national government will provide the equipment and connectivity, as long as the MCAs provide the working space.

Even without Ruto’s facilitation, Kenyans by the tens or even hundreds of thousands have been working online in one capacity or the other. Many of these include jobs such as writing and transcription, or even work related to their area of specialization such as design or software engineering.

However or late, one kind of online job that has captivated Kenyans was performing repetitive tasks intended to train AI systems.

Most of this involves identifying, marking, and labelling objects eg. inside an image or video.

One popular platform used by thousands of Kenyans has been Remotasks.

In 2021, Remotasks announced via a blog post that they were welcoming Kenyans on board, and very quickly word spread around. It reached a point where they drastically reduced or stopped onboarding more Kenyans all together.

However, those who still held their accounts have continued earning on the platform.

Well, not any more. Last week, Remotasks sent a notification to all Kenyan account holders, informing them of their decision to end operations in the country.

“We are reaching out with an important announcement regarding Remotasks operations in your location. We are discontinuing operations in your current location effective March 8, 2024. As part of this change, you have been off-boarded from your current project.” the message read in part.

It is unclear how many Kenyans worked and earned on the platform, but their termination is a big blow for Ruto and his promotion of online jobs. It also a stark reminder of just how unstable online freelance opportunities really are.

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