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September 1, 2017

Opinion: Isahit, a socially responsible "jobbing" platform

September 1, 2017

Isahit, a "socially responsible jobbing" platform, is being implemented in Africa.

The facts: Launched this year by Isabelle Mashola and Philippe Coup-Jambet, Isahit is a platform for outsourcing digital microprojects from French companies to disadvantaged workers in Africa. In 2017, it plans to establish itself in 10 French- and English-speaking African countries.

Housewives or young Stock exchange students charged, by computer interposers, with word processing, moderation or filing of invoices on behalf of companies wishing to outsource these tasks: it is the principle of "jobbing", born In 2008 in the head of an American, Leah Busque, who was looking for someone to buy the croquettes of her dog.

She then created Runmyerrand ("Do my Errands" in English), renamed from TaskRabbit, as the French daily Les Echos told it in 2014. In ten years the analogous models have swarmed: YoupiJob, Frizbiz, Jemepropose, IFastask, MonAbeille...

And for six months, Isahit Tries to replicate this model on the continent, starting with francophone Africa. They are two on the initiative of this company which aims to recruit about 10 000 "workers" in Senegal (Dakar), Ivory Coast (Abidjan), Burkina (Ouaga), Congo-Brazzaville (Pointe Noire) and Cameroon (Yaoundé), via incubators or Fablabs — These digital manufacturing labs.

They areIsabelle Mashola, former IT director at Cisco, the US server specialist, and Dell, the world-famous PC manufacturer, and her partner Philippe Coup-Jambet, a fintech (financial services innovation) specialist who has been involved in the creation of several digital start-ups.

Several hundred recruitments

For the time being, about twenty women are helping to carry out micro-tasks such as moderating content or comments on websites or tagging images in data banks. For example, in Cameroon, women who are going to work on the markets in the morning will then, in the afternoon, do the micro-tasks proposed on Isahit. In Senegal, students would not have had the means to pay for their education otherwise. In Togo, artisans, and in Burkina, a student who was unable to provide her third year of accounting studies. Several hundred others are to be recruited in the coming months.

"Isahit" — English word Game "is a hit" and "human intelligence task" — wants to cover everything that the machine cannot do. The term is also used by Amazon Mechanical Turk whose principle is quite similar. Except that the pay levels of Amazon's 500 000 "turkers" on its platform are strongly criticized — Half receive less than 7.25 dollars, the hourly minimum wage in the United States according to the site TechRépublic.

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