South African organisations, particularly small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs), can benefit from the local and international exposure that e-commerce affords. In order for these benefits to be fully exploited, increased collaboration between the government and industry is needed, particularly in defining the future e-commerce policy and legislative environment. E-commerce can also enhance economic inclusion in South Africa and other African countries by bringing public services to remote areas and providing better access to markets for women and the poor.
However, case studies reveal that the reach of e-commerce in Africa is still hindered by inadequate regulation, education and infrastructure. Moreover, there is insufficient data available to obtain an accurate picture of the scale and contribution of this growing industry. This briefing draws on case studies from South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania, and describes some of the main opportunities and policy challenges confronting the e-commerce industry in these countries.
Author: Adheesh Budree