Rwanda Internet Community and Technology Alliance (RICTA) has launched an e-commerce campaign that will enable local businesses to sell the country’s products on global market.
The three- month campaign dubbed ‘Doing Business Online’ launched on Thursday is expected to reach more than 500 large and small businesses who will get trained on e-commerce logistics, taxation and enable enterprises to attach their products on country’s domain, ‘RW’.
The Rwanda internet domain, locally known as AkadomoRW has witnessed a comparative growth against the ‘dot com’ websites since 2012, after Rwanda won seven year international dispute to retain country domain name (Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), “.rw”- from a Belgian entrepreneur Frederic Gregoire, who managed it for decades under his Swiss-based company NIC Congo – Interpoint.
Since then, 3,922 active RW domain sites (including 250 for government) have been registered locally.
“We are heading into a digital economy and it’s the right time as an ICT Hub, to connect our enterprises to larger markets, promote Rwandan products globally, but ultimately the country’s identity on the digital landscape,” said RICTA CEO Ghislain Nkeramugaba.
Grace Ingabire, an IT Manager at RICTA, says that using the Rwandan (RW) domain for e-commerce platform will be essential compared to the dot.com domain in terms of expenses, maintenance and market outreach as seen in Regional countries, South Africa and Germany.
“Enterprises opting to go ecommerce and using the RW domain will be able to get hands-on services from our domain suppliers and reach a wide Rwandan market in sales without spending much time and money”
RICTA officials say that going digital in sale of Rwandan products will not only expand the market reach, but also triple the amount of money made by enterprises in each of the sectors.
This campaign comes at a time when the Ministry of Trade and Industry is also analyzing a policy on e-commerce in which a single digital market, logistics and a common warehouse is expected to be established once approved.
The ministry intends to increase Doing Business online which is not new in Rwanda, but has a slow uptake with only a few of the 100,000 registered companies in Rwanda using the digital methodology to reach a wide market.
Global statistics show that ecommerce is one sector that is going to drive the next phase of the Internet boom and services.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), e-commerce globally grew by 36% to $25 trillion over the last three years.
UNCTAD has asked African governments to come up with laws that support this sector of trade while also encouraging local ecommerce platforms.