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Top 10 Online Side Hustles for Unemployed African Youths

Youth are Africa’s greatest asset. Africa’s youth population is rapidly growing and expected to double to over 830 million by 2050. If properly harnessed, this increase in the working-age population could support increased productivity and stronger, more inclusive economic growth across the continent. But today, the majority of youth in Africa do not have stable economic opportunities. Of Africa’s nearly 420 million youth aged 15-35, one-third are unemployed and discouraged, another third are vulnerably employed, and only one in six is in wage employment. Youth face roughly double the unemployment rate of adults, with significant variation by country. The problem is not just unemployment but underemployment, which peaks at just over half of youth in the labour force in low-income countries.

In this article l am going to share 10 online side hustles our African Youths can do in order to earn a decent living and ultimately build an empire.

1. YouTube

YouTube is the largest video sharing platform and is 100% content-creator driven. Whenever you upload a video on YouTube you are making money for Google (YouTube’s parent company). YouTube, in order to encourage more content on their platform, have developed an algorithm to pay their content-creators. Yes, you can earn money on YouTube. How? Africa is blessed with talented youths but unfortunately, we many times our talents for free-this is recipe for poverty. We need to monetize our talents. YouTube has a market for you whether you are a rhythmic dancer, singer, athlete, comedian or someone who likes sharing their daily lifestyle (check DDG & Lala for notes). I will tell you how you can start, grow and ultimately monetize your channel: get a camera ( a smartphone camera is good enough for a start), create content consistently, find your niche market, check your analytics, engage with your audience, be patient (it is not easy), market your channel on social media and invest in ads. For a channel to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program (starting to make money), it must have at least 1,000 subscribers, have at least 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months and Channel/content must adhere to the YouTube Partner Program policiesYouTube Terms of ServiceYouTube spam policies, and the Community Guidelines.

2. Online Tutoring

Almost half of the 10 million graduates churned out of the over 668 universities in Africa yearly do not get a job, Kelvin Balogun – President of Coca-Cola, Central, East and West Africa – has said. The saddest thing is that the millions of unemployed graduates are experts in their respective fields but opportunities in Africa are hard to come by. If you are an expert in a particular subject, you can earn by tutoring people online. Online tutoring provides a means to connect online with students of all ages, across the world to provide homework help and tutoring in the subjects for which you have demonstrated expertise. Most platforms follow the process that will ask you to apply by filling in a simple form, along with a teaching demo. Once selected, documentation and profile creation will be done, followed by training and induction webinar. Once you attend the webinar, you will be listed as a teacher and will get your online sessions to conduct. There has been a great demand for online English Language tutors especially coming from China and the rest of Asia recently. Some of the websites that recruit online tutors: Bibo, Best Teacher, LearnTalk, Cambly, Chegg, Club Learn to Be, The Princeton Review, Skooli, Smarthinking, and TutorMe.

3. Answering Surveys

There are several websites offering money to undergo online surveys, carry out online searches, and write reviews on products. To get the credit, one needs to disclose certain information to them including one’s banking details. This is why you should use this route with utmost care. Some of them may even ask you to register with them before working on projects. The most important watch out in such projects is to stay away from websites offering money that appears too good to be true. Be careful while evaluating the reputation of the website as many of them could be a scam. Most sites promote businesses showing copies of cheque payments which may have been given to the middlemen only. Some of the websites and apps that pay people for filling surveys: Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, InboxDollars, Nielsen Mobile Panel and My Points.

4. Freelance Coding

This is the most demanded skill whether it may be simple website designing or the more complex artificial intelligence coding is an essential skill to have especially in the current we are living. The best part is that you can learn this skill online for free on platforms such as Codecademy, freeCodeCamp, Coursera, edX, Codewars. Code Conquest, GA Dash and Khan Academy. Not all business owners are tech-savvy, but the need of the hour is to have a website of their own. Those who have a knack for all- things- tech, especially related to websites, can help small businesses set up their own websites and earn from it. Coding and web designing are essential ingredients in setting up websites. Further, websites need maintenance and may require frequent updates, which may add to one’s revenue. After learning how to code, you can sell your services to companies needing such skills and better off start your own website or internet company. Learn to code Africa!

5. Instagram

Instagram has grown into one of the biggest online platforms boosting an impressive 1 billion monthly active users since launching in 2010. Instagram has grown from being a mere photo-sharing app into an all-purpose social media platform thus creating new opportunities for revenue and income generation. Making money on Instagram is not easy but very possible. This is how you can make money on Instagram. Depending on your unique brand of Instagram content, your audience, and your level of commitment, you can make money on Instagram in the following ways:

6. Facebook

Facebook is the biggest online platform in the world with an incredible 2.5 billion monthly active users (only YouTube is close enough to even challenge Facebook). Facebook provides, in my opinion, the best opportunity to grow your business and even your personal brand. There are many ways to make money on Facebook: join buy and sell groups, sell on Facebook marketplace, earn refer-a-friend bonuses, enter contests, create Facebook ads, host a fundraiser, apply for a job, become a social media manager, create Facebook live videos, look for critical security flaws through the Facebook Bug Bounty program, in-stream ads, fan subscriptions, branded content and finally subscription groups.

7. TikTok

This is the hottest app at the moment. Everyone is moving to TikTok and uploading short, creative and fun videos. TikTok is keeping billions of people occupied during these difficult times. Dear Africans, let us capitalize on this great buzz and earn some real dollars. This is how you can do that. While it is true that TikTok is yet to have an official monetization program, there are ways you can use TikTok to build a brand and start earning income. Some of the ways include growing your YouTube, Instagram and Facebook by placing the links on your TikToks, advertise for brands on TikTok, and promoting your business. But TikTok is growing and it is a good idea to start building a large following in preparation for monetization programs l am sure TikTok is working on.

8. Forex Trading

Forex trading is the white-collar job of the hustle economy. Online trading platforms have democratized this job and now anyone can trade for forex. This is the riskiest business and probably the most difficult skill (together with coding) to learn but it is worth a try. Most African Youths are jumping into the bandwagon however it is a game of fine margins (some lose big and some win big). Regardless, forex trading is a vital skill to learn and worthwhile to invest your time and money. There are two parts to online forex trading: learning and the actual trading. You can forex trading on these sites: Investopedia, babypips, dailyfx and Then when it comes to doing the actual trading l recommend the following platforms: FxStreet , ForexFactory , Bloomberg and ForexLive.

9. Translating

Knowing a language other than English may even help you earn some extra bucks. There are several websites that offer translation projects that require translating a document from one language into another. This may include Spanish, French, Arab, German, or any other language to or from English. For many, this can make the task rather time-consuming and therefore they hire translators available online from anywhere across the globe. Several websites such as,, or offers you a platform to be a professional translator.

10. Onlyfans and Premium Snapchat (No under 18)

Honestly, l did not want to include this for the simple reason of ethics especially for the African culture, but this quarantine has made me see many things: our girls dancing naked on Instagram Live and TikTok to win “online dance contests” among other things. The sad part is that most of these girls end up empty-handed and shamed. I am against treating our women as property and taking advantage of them in exchange for their bodies. Onlyfans and SnapChat Premium give women the power over their body whilst earning real dollars even up to US$50 000 a month. You don’t even have to get naked for you to get paid. Just look good and show off some of your dancing skills and people will pay you. I am not in any way encouraging prostitution because this is not even a form of prostitution. Actually, Onlyfans and Premium Snapchat can provide better and safer sources of income for prostitutes ultimately reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in Africa.

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1 Comment

  • by Kevwe
    Posted May 18, 2020 3:40 pm 0Likes

    Please bro.
    I’m from Nigeria,
    I’m really having some issues on how to make money online.
    Can you help me out?
    That’s my Gmail, you can send me your answers.

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