Battle of the job apps at DEMO-Africa: mPawa vs mKazi

Africa has in the recent times seen various applications developed targeted the issue of joblessness developed, with two mobile apps focused on providing employer-employee platforms, mPawa and mKazi, pitching during the DEMO-Africa event in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday.

Harry Hare of DEMO-Africa said Africa has “a lot of problems and a lot of mobiles and this would open opportunities for mobile application to sort out some of those problems. Employment lies smack in the middle of Africa’s numerous problems.”

The model revenue of the two apps comes from charging users for the job alerts they get, while mKazi also generates revenue through text alerts.

The two applications both made good impressions in their various pitches at the conference, even though their approaches were different.

mPawa aims to help blue collar workers find work and match them correctly to the right employer, targeting a specific category in the job market and making it very unique to use. It uses mobile Web and desktop interface to try and connect employers and employees. It also employs SMS-based alerts for users.

There are over 2,000 job seekers already on their platform in Ghana. Twelve companies have already registered to use the service.

mKazi is an SMS and USSD platform that helps job seekers create and send applications. Employers can also log in to the platform and look for the specific skills they are looking for. The company opted to use USSD technology due to the mobile demography that suggests most users have low-end phones.

To date, the company has received US$100,000 in funding.

Though the apps went down well, some have highlighted potential concerns over the numerous job apps. Jonathan Ortmans, President of Global Entrepreneurship Week, said his major concern would be on the quality of the search engines in these services, and encouraged developers to continue to refine their applications to make this possible.

Paul Nguru, CEO of PN Consulting, also relayed his experience using a different job platform, saying he received over 2,000 CVs, most of which were irrelevant.

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