Kenya Introduces Its E-Commerce Plan In An Effort To Fully Utilise The Digital Economy.

Posted on : Thursday , 1st February 2024

In order to encourage effective and sustainable development, UNCTAD supports the East African country in addressing obstacles and strengthening healthy electronic commerce. 


Kenya on December 13th unveiled a national e-commerce strategy aimed at strengthening its standing as Africa's digital leader by encouraging broad and inclusive use of e-commerce services that are based in Kenya and are safe and reliable.


The plan was driven by the Ministry of Trade, Investments and Industry, in collaboration with UNCTAD and included the Ministry of Information, Communications and The Digital Economy.


Director of technology and logistics at UNCTAD Shamika N. Sirimanne stated, "Kenya's e-commerce strategy creates the platform for trust-building among enterprises and customers, making e-commerce more accessible and profitable for all, especially excluded populations."


"I want to congratulate the administration on the remarkable interministerial cooperation that served as the foundation for the creation of the strategy. Supporting these initiatives has been an honour for UNCTAD, Ms. Sirimanne continued.


The plan seeks to benefit on Kenya's advancements in digital infrastructure, which have made it one of the region's most advanced tools.


The country's 96% internet penetration rate with 3G or 4G coverage, along with slashing mobile financing options like MPESA, have greatly accelerated the rise of e-commerce.


Kenya has the third-highest rate of online shopping in Africa, following Mauritius and Tunisia, with a rise from 9% in 2017 to 16% in 2021, according to the World Bank.


The plan is based on a UNCTAD eTrade readiness assessment that found enduring issues that needed to be resolved to strengthen Kenya's e-commerce sector.


In light to this dynamic context, the plan calls for inclusive participation for all Kenyans, irrespective of their geography, age, gender, or talent.


It also seeks to minimize e-commerce charges, accelerate delivery and improve trust in online marketplaces.


In order to do this, the government will improve legal frameworks and regulations, offer universal access to ICT, improve trade and reduce border friction, offer dependable payment systems, develop e-commerce-related skills and boost financing options for all companies.


"The Kenya national e-commerce plan is not only a blueprint," stated Rebecca Miano, cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Industry. It is our innovative answer to the opportunities and limitations that the digital era has to offer.


"The strategy creates the platform for an innovative, inclusive, and sustainable digital economy that promotes both individuals and enterprises," the speaker continued.


"This e-commerce plan is a huge leap towards removing the obstacles that have been limiting e-commerce in the country," stated Eliud Owalo, cabinet secretary for the ministry of information, communications, and the digital economy.


The plan has a strong emphasis on enterprises, with the goals of increasing their e-commerce adoption, reaching a wider audience, and improving their exposure in international markets—including those covered by the African Continental Free Trade Area.


According to Tim Steel, CEO of Copia Global, one of the winners of Kenya's e-commerce awards in 2023, "Kenya's e-commerce business greatly anticipated this strategy."

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