The E-Commerce Kenya Conference
The E-commerce Kenya conference kicked off on the 14th and 15th of March at Strathmore University. It was well attended by over 500 Delegates drawn from the government, private sector, banks, small and medium enterprises, logistics, medical practitioners, lawyers, academia and more.
READ ALSO: What is E-commerce?
The Key Take-Aways from the Conference are summarized below.
Government Feedback on E-commerce
The government through the ICT Ministry was well represented. The team had the following points to share;
- The government is 100% behind the e-commerce transformation to create jobs, especially for the youth.
- There are many new bills and pending bills in parliament to push the e-commerce agenda forward.
- New laws will be instituted to enhance trust, quality and security in the sector.
- Ajira Digital is creating opportunities for youth to tap in.
- A policy framework needs to be drawn for the sector to grow.
- The government will do more to promote the sector to stir up economic growth.
- A national addressing system will be launched to increase efficiency in logistics.
Private Sector Sentiments
This group was made up of entrepreneurs who have embraced or are on the path to e-commerce. The views of this group are captured below;
- Financing for startup and scaleup is inaccessible for the SME sector.
- More investment and intervention is required by the government for the sector to grow.
- Lack of trust and security an impediment to the growth of the trade.
- A national addressing system needs to be set up for logistics to work efficiently.
- SMEs need to leverage partnerships to grow their market share.
- More investments in digital marketing will help small business in this space.
Academia and Thought Leaders
It is evident that more investments are needed in this space. The right skills are not being taught in Universities and Colleges to catalyze the growth of the sector. The key takeaways from academia are below;
- More programs and courses will be launched to enhance digital skills in the youth.
- Relevant content must be taught and not the norm which is texts published 30 Years ago.
- More incubation centers need to be set up in academic institutions.
- New policies are required in the sector to steer them in the right direction.
- Youth need to be encouraged to explore business as an avenue to grow and not just employment.
Banking and Finance Sector
Since the rate caps in Kenya, banks have been shy to lend to SMEs. Banks are focusing more on lending to the government.
This is considered as one of the greatest bottlenecks in the growth of the sector.
- The requirement of collateral needs to be relooked at for SMEs and startups.
- There is a need to set up a startup fund to induce growth in the sector.
- Entrepreneurs need to look at alternative sources of funding like venture capitalists, donations and their own savings.
- Government policy needs to be instituted to promote onward lending to SMEs and startups.
- The Youth Enterprise Fund process is long and tedious for startups who have little financial literacy.
Medical care has also gone digital and many questions emerged on the opportunity in this sector. A couple of pharmaceuticals sites have already emerged. Some of the points raised in this field are;
- Misuse of pharmaceuticals can have devastating effects.
- A possibility of delay in the delivery of prescriptions purchased online.
- The authenticity of medicine provided by online retailers.
- The major benefit is that it makes medicine more accessible.
- There is no policy framework for this space.
- Telemedicine has the potential to change the industry for the better.
Liked this content?
Share and Follow me on my Social Media Platforms and Stay Tuned for more posts on my Blog