By Collins Mwai
E-commerce firm operating in Rwanda stand to benefit from improved skills and solutions following an intervention by Rwanda Information Communication Technology (ICT) Chamber, the Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the International Trade Centre.
The four entities signed an agreement on the side-lines of the Transform Africa Summit aiming at sustainable solutions for doing business through e-commerce.
Among other impacts the intervention seeks to ensure sustainability by training small firms through the Digital Business Institute, an initiative of the Rwanda ICT Chamber.
According to the agreement, the Chamber will manage ITC-trained coaches under their umbrella and deploy their services to vendors in need for e-commerce expertise.
The initiative also seeks to build the confidence of e-commerce players through certification as trusted eCommerce vendors, therefore opening more sales opportunities for them.
In order to best support businesses in their e-commerce journey and to create a sustainable environment for them, IT companies will be trained on advanced software solutions for e-commerce website development and online promotion.
Further support is through the partnership of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in partnership with GIZ and the International Trade Centre, to market goods and services online as well as technical expertise.
Statistics show that only a small number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Rwanda have adopted online business practices as majority continue to struggle.
While businesses in Rwanda are reported to have online access, which presents enormous opportunities for e-Commerce, E-Commerce transactions are still very low.
This has among other reasons been attributed to low skillsets among a majority of e-commerce operators in Rwanda.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s 2017 Information Economy Report indicates that the value of global e-commerce increased to an estimated $25 trillion in 2015, up from $16 trillion in 2013.
Meanwhile, McKinsey, an American worldwide management consulting firm that conducts qualitative and quantitative analysis to evaluate management decisions across public and private sectors, estimates that e-Commerce will account for $75 billon in Africa by 2025 from $16 billion in 2017.
However, the prospects are quite promising, given the rapid rise in internet penetration and a raft of initiatives by government to boost e-Commerce.