South Africa had an unemployment rate of around 25% in 2010, and some other African countries fare much worse. It’s not necessarily because jobs are scarce: often, it’s a problem of candidates not knowing jobs are available, or facing discrimination based on their tribe.
“In some cases these job seekers have to trek for miles upon miles to get to various offices just to find out if there is any vacancy,” explains Bertrand Kima, who was born in Cameroon and has seen some of this firsthand. “At times they do not get the right information simply because the secretary must have had a rough day, or maybe discovered that the candidate is not from his/her tribe and the answer goes thus: ‘the manager is not in’ (whereas the manager is in his/her office) or ‘no opening at this time’ (whereas there are openings).”
The solution he’s building is Njorku, a search engine for jobs in Africa. Job seekers can upload their resumes and get email alerts for related jobs, pulled from all around the web. Njorku (which means “elephant”) also has forums with career advice and discussions.
Kima and cofounder Churchill Mambe Nanje have personal inspiration for this project:
“The Njorku team is made up of Africans and definitely we will want to see our continent grow like other continents. Moreover, we have family members and friends in Africa who will be needing the services of Njorku today or tomorrow,” says Kima.
Njorku is based in Baltimore and was showcased at our Tech Cocktail Baltimore mixer.