In a significant setback for both President Ruto’s digital job initiative and Kenyan workers, popular gig economy platform Remotasks has ceased operations in Kenya. The company notified all Kenyan account holders via email about the termination of its services in the country.

Since its inception in 2021, Remotasks had provided valuable online job opportunities to thousands of Kenyan youths, serving as a lifeline during challenging economic times. Initially met with overwhelming demand, the platform struggled to manage the influx of new users, leading to restrictions on account access.

Renowned for offering remote work opportunities worldwide, Remotasks allowed users to engage in tasks like image annotation, data entry, and language translation services from the comfort of their homes. President Ruto had championed the platform as a cornerstone of his efforts to provide digital employment opportunities to Kenyan youths in both urban and remote areas.

Notably, Ruto had even pledged government support to facilitate access to computers and internet connectivity for Kenyan youths, further endorsing Remotasks as a viable avenue for online work.

However, the recent notification from Remotasks signaled the abrupt end of operations in Kenya, leaving many users without income-generating opportunities. The email stated, “We are discontinuing operations in your current location effective immediately. As a part of this change, you will be off-boarded from your current project.”

This development comes on the heels of President Ruto’s endorsement of a Kenyan student’s success story on the platform. During an ICT program launch at Kaiboi National Polytechnic, Ruto had highlighted Brian Kipchumba’s achievement in earning income through Remotasks.

However, despite the platform’s positive impact on individual users like Kipchumba, some Kenyans expressed discontent with its prominence, especially amid government efforts to broaden the tax base.

In a speech at an international leaders summit in Dubai, President Ruto showcased Brian’s success story, underscoring the transformative power of internet-enabled employment opportunities. Ruto emphasized Brian’s ability to secure employment with an AI company in Germany without ever leaving his village or obtaining a passport.

The discontinuation of Remotasks in Kenya reflects a significant setback in the quest to provide accessible digital job opportunities to Kenyan youths, raising questions about the sustainability of such initiatives in the face of operational challenges.

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