[Africa Tech Review] Duncan Mochama: Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa are top drivers of eCommerce volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa
Global digital payments firm Visa this week released a white paper titled eCommerce developments across Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). The report revealed that three countries - Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa are among the top drivers of eCommerce volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa.
eCommerce has experienced phenomenal growth rates around the world, and even recent setbacks as a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic haven’t stopped its rise. In Kenya, the report noted that professional and education services were the top drivers in terms of merchants categories during this period.
This came just two weeks after IFC released another report on eCommerce growth. The report noted that eCommerce markets in Southeast Asia and Africa could grow by over $280 billion and $14.5 billion respectively between 2025 and 2030. This it said can be achieved by increasing the number of women selling on online platforms and by providing them with better training and financial support.
This week, Gabeya, the Ethiopian-based Pan-African source for freelance professional talent announced the expansion of its revamped marketplace, the first of its kind in terms of reach in Africa. Nigerian health-tech startup Helium Health, which is also the largest Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Hospital Management Information (HMI) Systems provider in West Africa announced the launch of its full suite of products and services in Kenya. Still in Nigeria, the country’s Communications Commission (NCC) concluded the process for determining the cost-based price of Mobile International Termination Rate (ITR) to ensure healthy competition on traffic handling. In a demonstration of its responsiveness to global trends and the dynamics in the Information and Communications Technology ecosystem the commission this week also initiated the process for the review of the existing licensing structure in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.
On matters cybersecurity, Australian cybersecurity company FirstWave Cloud entered into an agreement with European cybersecurity company and Level 1 Partner, SHELT Global Ltd (SHELT) to launch FirstCloud CyberCision. Cybersecurity leader ESET also uncovered a new malware variant called that is being spread by the Advanced Persistent Threat Group BackdoorDiplomacy. Known as Turian, the malware primarily targets Ministries of Foreign Affairs and telecommunication companies in Africa and the Middle East.
A number of new appointments were also made this week. The Board of Kenswitch Kenya Limited appointed Ms. Karimi Ithau as Managing Director as the company rolls out its new market direction.
African telcos were also in the news this week. Vodacom Financial Services announced its latest lending product, VodaLend | Business Cash Advance, which provides finance to smaller unregistered businesses in need of quick access to short-term cash advances. MTN Group also announced that it will be testing and ultimately deploying OpenRAN – an innovative technology that will enable the telco to launch new services more quickly, cost-effectively, and seamlessly, supporting our strategy, Ambition 2025: Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress. The African Telecommunications Union (ATU) launched the second edition of the ATU Africa Innovation Challenge. The challenge seeks to provide both short and long-term solutions and opportunities to the African Youth.
Huawei this week announced the launch of its 2021 App development competition for developers across Africa dubbed Huawei HMS App Innovation Contest. The Chinese tech giant also announced the opening of its Cairo New Campus Club (CNCC) during the New Network Solutions for Enterprise Summit that was held in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Other top highlights of the week include the Kenyan government expanding the AJIRA Digital Programme to universities and TVETS across the country, and GSMA releasing its 2020 Gender Gap Report which partly reveals that women’s access to mobile internet continues to increase across low- and middle-income countries, while mobile ownership remains relatively flat.