Government to set rules for e-commerce

Friday June 24 2016

By Jonathan adengo

Kampala- The government is working around the clock to set up an enabling environment for e-commerce.

Mr Peter Kahigi, the director for e-commerce services at the National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U), has said the government is working around the clock to ensure there are rules and regulations to govern the e-commerce services in the country.

He was speaking at the announcement of change of ownership of nine e-commerce portals that were previously under the Africa Internet Group (AIG) to the Jumia eco-system in Kampala yesterday.

“The government already enacted the electronic transactions act, a law which guides the operations on the e- commerce entities,” he said, adding government was increasingly depending on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services to simplify the way of doing business today.

According to the Budget speech recently read by Finance minister Mr Matia Kasaija, ICT supports development of the financial services sector, telecommunications, public financial management and scientific research and innovation and e-Government.

Mr Kasaija said ICT contributes 2.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (2015), employs approximately 1.3 million Ugandans and raised Shs484.4 billion in tax revenue collection in 2015. He also noted that there was an increase in internet users who grew from 8.5 million to 13 million people in 2015.

Furthermore the increase in telephone subscribers from 19.5 million in 2013 to 23 million in 2015, has strengthened the need and created breeding ground for the growth of the e-commerce services in the country.

With the AIG announcement, this means that all the e-commerce portals that were operating under their platform will now operate under one brand, Jumia. In the new arrangement, Jumia will give customers access to products and services from the nine e-commerce platforms originally operating under AIG for the past four years.

Speaking to Daily Monitor on the sidelines of the announcement of the merger, Mr Ron Kawamara, the managing director Jumia Food, said internet has opened new horizons for business in Uganda and it is e-commerce services such as the new platform provided by Jumia.

He explains that sellers will also benefit from this move by getting access to more traffic and to greater world of opportunities. The platform created by Jumia will help restaurants, hotels, large companies and logistical companies to become better and increase their market control.

Speaking at a consultative meeting to discuss the draft certification regulations in Kampala recently, NITA-U executive director, Mr David Saaka, said: “Standards play an important role in facilitating trade through the promotion of safety, quality and technical compatibility, improve efficiency in production and also spur innovation.”
In order to enforce this, NITA-U is working with support from the ministry of Information and Communications Technology and that of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.