… My heart’s in Accra Ethan Zuckerman’s online home, since 2003

June 11, 2008

Kazi560 – Jobsearching via mobile phone

Filed under: Africa — Ethan @ 10:37 pm

Unemployment is a major problem in Kenya, especially in informal settlements. A creative solution, called Kazi560, is having great success matching blue-collar workers with jobs via SMS. If you’re a laborer, you can spend an amazing amount of your time wandering from one worksite to another, looking for opportunities. With Kazi560, workers can register via mobile phones and receive text messages, letting them know about job opportunities.

The video above outlines some of the early successes of the project. Employers are evidently willing to pay to use the service, suggesting that it can become self-sustaining fiscally, over time. The application is one of several developed by a project called Mobile4Good, which is supported by the UK arm of international foundation OneWorld. It’s a very exciting, simple and extremely practical application that shows how powerful mobiles can be for addressing problems in the developing world. (Hat tip to Hash for pointing me to the video.)


  1. Its lot informative man.I think we too can follow in our country.

    Comment by karthik — June 12, 2008 @ 5:12 pm

  2. This is such a simple and useful idea. Us western engineers tend to look for complicated solutions when sometimes the smallest things can have an incredible impact. Thanks for pointing this out!

    Comment by Can — June 13, 2008 @ 8:54 pm

  3. […] new text messaging service in Kenya that alerts blue collar workers to job opportunities. Zuckerman writes, “If you’re a laborer, you can spend an amazing amount of your time wandering from one […]

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  4. […] been early adopters of mobile money transfer systems like M-PESA and complex SMS-based systems like Kazi560 which matches jobseekers and employers via their […]

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  6. hi, very good info. Mobile phone is very important device for people all around the world. Due to its technical nature, problems are met from time to time. So we need learn from each other. thanks. :)

    Comment by phone review — June 17, 2009 @ 4:58 am

  7. […] Kenya: More recently, a new program called Kazi560 is helping Kenyans find jobs. (Unemployment there is 40 percent!) The idea is that […]

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  8. Thanks for the post, Ethan. Anyone who wants more info about the Kazi560 project or OneWorld’s other Mobile4Good projects (Learning about Living and LifeLines) — or if you want to start something similar in your own country — please get in touch! Check out our website (http://mobile.oneworld.net) and shoot us an email: m4g@oneworld.net

    Comment by Jeffrey Allen — July 15, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

  9. […] de móviles. En Kenia, por ejemplo, KAZI 560, una agencia de contratación, emplea móviles para conectar a trabajadores potenciales con empleadores potenciales. 60.000 keniatas encuentran trabajo a través de Internet. En Zambia, los campesinos usan el […]

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