Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A top official of the National Information Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA Uganda) has outlined a raft of measures in place to reduce the cost of internet, encourage greater use and make e-commerce attractive for all stakeholders.
Interventions by government in the sector in the past three years include having ICT as a core subject in the education system, putting up to 270 government services online, free Wi-Fi services in the city, policies for sharing and open access to infrastructure and working with upstream providers to bring internet costs down.
Peter Kahiigi, the Director e-Government Services at NITA stated that, “NITA-U remains committed to digitizing Uganda by reducing the cost of internet connectivity, which is a significant barrier in encouraging the use of Internet across the country.”
Kahiigi was speaking at the launch of an annual report on the Ugandan Mobile Sector by Africa’s leading e-commerce company Jumia at Skyz Hotel in Kampala on Thursday.
The report on the Ugandan Mobile Sector in 2017 revealed that 77% of Ugandans who shopped online opted to do so, using their mobile device. Meanwhile, the number of those who shopped with desktop computers or laptops only contributed 23%.
The report also shows that in 2017, 83% of Ugandans preferred the cash on delivery option, while 16% opted for the MTN mobile money option, when shopping online.
Kahiigi said government efforts to reduce cost of connectivity will help e-commerce businesses like Jumia by placing more potential customers online. It will also more importantly change people’s habits, with more learning how to operate online.
KEY JUMIA MOBILE REPORT GRAPHICS
“This effort has been deliberate and we are happy to have led the industry in reducing the cost of connectivity to Government offices by over 84% since 2010.” he added. He said the target is to to see costs of connection to government offices that are currently at $70 for 1Mbps from$1200 in 2015, fall to $10 in the next two years.
“By easing the on-boarding of Government institutions on to the Internet, the number of online government services will increase, this will spur usage of the internet, ” Kahiigi concluded.
He urged Jumia to work closer with their partners to make the cost of transactions online more attractive.
Kahiigi also revealed that NITA is working on a system to be built over the physcial mapping being done with the capital city authority KCCA to make it easier for customers to be located by boda boda’s.
Smartphones are king
Speaking at the unveiling of the white paper, Sefik Bagdadioglu, Jumia’s Regional Manager, said that smartphones are the primary gateway to the Internet for millions of people in Africa today. ( Find the Mobile Report here)
“This is the second white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Uganda. The positive growth figures demonstrate the increasing capacity and flexibility of the online retail space in Uganda.” Bagdadioglu stated.
“Jumia is creating an ecosystem around Africa. We want to make people’s lives easier whether it’s shopping, ordering food or booking a hotel” Sefik Bagdadioglu
The timely release of this Mobile white paper comes less than a week before Jumia’s Mobile Week discount sale – which is set to further prove Jumia’s findings regarding improved mobile device specifications and more attainable prices. The sale will run from March 19th through 25th.
Mobile phone for sh100,000
The 2018 mobile report also noted in the massive drop in prices on phones sold on Jumia from $167 in 2015 to $83 in 2017.
Ham Namakajo, Jumia’s Country Manager and Ray Rugambwa, head of mobile phone category, revealed a number of new packages on offer at the Mobile week, including a new 3G “Simi” smart phone which will cost less than sh100,000.
Jumia, African online retailer giants were established in May 2012 with the aim and vision to become the one-stop shop for retail in Africa with implementation of best practices both online and offline. Jumia is the largest online retail store in Uganda.
At inception they did an average delivery time of a week, today they do, on average, delivery in 3-6 days.
Initially starting with 3 employees, Jumia presently has a staff strength of over 3000 young and entrepreneurial people including our over 750 man strong customer service team available 7 days a week.
Jumia deliveries to all regions across Uganda.