Infrastructure key for e-commerce growth

If there is any sector that saw great uptake during the 2020-2022 pandemic-induced lockdowns, it was e-commerce. However, challenges remain.

According to Ronnie Kawamara, the Jumia Uganda chief executive officer, e-commerce uptake is growing so fast, but there is no adequate infrastructure to support its growth.

“Uganda is a fast-growing market the young people aged from 16 – 25 are the majority and very tech-savvy. They know what is good for them. However, to build a tech company in Uganda, you must invest in a lot due to lack of (proper) infrastructure,” he said during the interaction with 25 students from Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden during their benchmarking visit at Jumia offices in Bugoloobi today, April 26, 2022.

Kawamara says Jumia has been able to grow in Uganda in the last 10 years because they have been able to build their own infrastructure.

“In the last ten years, we have built our robust infrastructure like warehouses and logistics. If you are here you need to deal with these challenges,” he added.

“Tech-savvy is still at the beginning in Uganda we need many players. There is a massive space to invest in,” he added.

According to the Report by Uganda National E-commerce Strategy by Ministry if ICT, the e-commerce market is expected to grow at a rate of 17.1 % between 2020 –2024 and the e-commerce user penetration is expected to hit 37.1% by 2024 because an increasing number of people are making purchases online.

According to Jumia, the country is ripe with over 50% of Ugandans who have access to mobile money, 6% have access to card payments and 36% have access to online payments.

Source: New Vision