Kenya launches national e-commerce to boost exports
London, Oct. 18 (AltAfrika) — Kenya has joined the league of countries operating digital economy with the launch of a national e-commerce gateway to boost its exports.
Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Adan Mohamed told journalists in Nairobi that the Kenya e-trade portal is designed to stimulate business decision-making through real-time trade facilitation information.
“The national e-commerce gateway… will enable users to view all suppliers of goods and services in the country and stimulate business deals through e-commerce-enabled company websites,” Mohamed said.
For the first time, the portal affords a user to view the country’s suppliers of merchandise such as textile and apparel and their location by county, he said.
Mohamed said that the new portal will put Kenya in the league of global e-commerce lead countries and complements private sector investments in e-commerce solutions by elevating these companies to global view.
Mohamed said Kenya’s trade has been expanding in the last 10 years but the performance has not been as sound as expected.
“The exports have been growing at a rate slower than that of imports, leading to a growing balance of trade deficit,” he noted.
Mohamed noted that Kenya’s ability to curb the domestic market’s insatiable demand for imports needs to be strengthened.
He said Kenya’s export base is very narrow, given that more than 70 percent of its exports are sold in only 12 countries.