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E-commerce strategy backed to unlock sector opportunities

Micro ,Small and Medium Enterprises have been urged to tap into e-commerce space for growth, competitiveness and accessibility.

Information, Communications and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said the National E-commerce Strategy will give micro and small businesses, particularly those in rural areas and PWD (People With Disabilities) a wider market and source of supplies that will enable them to procure goods without traveling to a distributor.

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“It’s worth noting that the E-commerce Strategy seeks to leverage Kenya’s strengths in that frontier while addressing the bottlenecks and challenges hindering E-commerce in the country. If well harnessed, E-commerce will greatly accelerate economic and social development through economic diversification, job creation, and increased trade,” said Owalo.

Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, Rebecca Miano said the government plans to help digitize MSMEs to boost national productivity and transform the economy through capacity building .

“The Ministry aims to promote a safe and secure e commerce environment that will increase their domestic and export market capability with a multiplier effect on incomes and creating jobs for the youth,” said Miano.

According to the Miano, e-commerce plays a critical role in achieving sustainable Development Goals with a multiplier effect on domestic and export trade which include; achieving trust from entrepreneurs through strengthening of laws, access of e-commerce ICT services by consumers from all social groups, policies and laws that will minimise friction at the borders.

Owalo added that to further help grow the sector, the government has also rolled out the National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI) an electronic system that facilitates the creation, storage, and assignment of digital certificates to individuals, firms, and state agencies.

“With the full commercialization of NPKI, it is envisaged that the electronic system will create a framework for protecting communications and stored information from unauthorized access and disclosure by addressing the fundamentals of cybersecurity – confidentiality, integrity, and authentication,” he added.

The e-commerce potential will cut across various social and economic spheres which include education, finance, trade, postal and logistics sector ,telecommunications and digital innovation zones among others.

Kenya’s e-commerce penetration is expected to hit 53.6p.c by 2025.

Sally Namuye
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