Nairobi, Mombasa top The Country in E-Commerce

Jumia Kenya head of offline sales Emmanuel Leteipa, head of logistics Chris Nyaga, CEO Charles Ballard and Chief Marketing Officer Hellen Ng’ang’a during the launch of the report in Nairobi.

E commerce has the potential to bring boost rural regions through employment opportunities and easy access to a variety of products, Jumia now says.

In its latest report dubbed ‘E-Commerce in Rural Areas’, the online shop says digital marketplaces could create close to five million jobs by 2025 on successful expansion to the rural areas.

“More than 72 per cent of Kenya’s population lives outside the main cities, and access to a supermarket is challenging in such areas. This presents an opportunity for e-commerce to grow and meet the rising demand in these areas,” said Charles Ballard, CEO of Jumia Kenya.

He said currently, only 23 per cent of online shopping orders from their platform goes to the rural areas despite the large market opportunity.

Nairobi and Mombasa account for 62 per cent while other major town take up 15 per cent of the orders.

“Choices for products in rural areas are currently extremely limited for consumers, and infrastructure is particularly constrained,” the report reads in part.

Nevertheless, Ballard added that their strive to develop further in peri-urban and rural areas, points towards driving the country’s economic growth and improving lives through the internet, echoing government’s digital transformation drive.

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Recently, the government announced its plan to start the process of introducing digital ID in a bid to boost e-commerce and curb online fraud.

The cabinet secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication and the Digital Economy, Eliud Owalo said lack of a digital ID has stifled the expansion of e-commerce activities in the country.

“The activities mostly depend on digital trust to process transactions,” Owalo said.

He noted that the success of e-commerce depends on digital trust, built through verification and authentication processes, especially during merchant and customer registrations and payments, as well as through rating systems.

“A strong digital trust generates a sense of security in a transaction, key to any e-commerce activity,” he added.

Data by Statista, a global data firm, shows e-commerce use in Kenya is above the regional average, with revenues expected to grow annually by 16.4 per cent by 2025, to hit $1.1 billion (Sh153.5 billion).

A report by Visa for the Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), ranks Kenya third in total volume of e-commerce in 2019 and 2020.

South Africa was first while Nigeria came second.

According to the report, e-commerce sales are projected to grow to $7 trillion (Sh976.1 trillion) across the globe by 2024.

This is projected to create job opportunities for the many unemployed youths, specifically in the country.

According to Raphael Obonyo, the director and co-founder of The Youth Congress, the youth, who form about 80 per cent of the country’s population, are the worst hit by unemployment.

“Out of every 10 unemployed Kenyans, seven are young people aged 35 and below, Obonyo said.

With the localisation drive, The Jumia report further highlights Eldoret, Nakuru, Kakamega, Kitale and Kisumu regions as the most promising areas for online shopping.

It cited beauty, home furniture, phones, and TV as the leading categories currently demanded by rural customers in Kenya.

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Meet Jacktone Lawi, a seasoned technology journalist with years of experience in the industry. I have developed my passion for technology during my formative years, which has been instrumental in shaping my career trajectory. My expertise lies in reporting on emerging technologies and their impact on businesses and consumers worldwide. Through my experience I’m well-versed in covering topics such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and digital transformation, among others. Throughout my career, I have has demonstrated an exceptional ability to distill complex technical information into accessible and engaging content that resonates with my readers. My writing style is clear, concise, and informative, allowing me to communicate even the most technical concepts to a broad audience. Beyond my writing skills, I have also become known for extensive network of industry contacts and ability to secure exclusive interviews with high-profile figures in the technology world. These connections have enabled me to gain unique insights into the latest trends and developments in the field, giving me a competitive edge in my reporting. In addition to my work as a journalist, I’m also actively engaged in the broader technology community. Where I regularly attend conferences and events, share insights and stays up-to-date on the latest innovations in the industry. Overall, my wealth of experience as a technology journalist have given me a deep understanding of the industry and its impact on society.

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