Platform for African e-commerce potential

26Sep 2016
The Guardian
Platform for African e-commerce potential

Global e-commerce sales are expected to reach just shy of $2trn in 2016 and Africa represents approximately 2% of this.

Grace Kijo (L) who is Etihad Airways’ Marketing Coordinator, Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea to Tanzania, Song Geum-Young (C) congratulate Heejin Hwang on winning one of three return tickets to Korea during a Korean ‘Chuseok’ festival held in Dar es Salaam over the past weekend

Global e-commerce sales are expected to reach just shy of $2trn in 2016 and Africa represents approximately 2% of this.

"We saw that Africa offers a massive opportunity in the e-commerce space. That is why we decided once again to bring together key players at the third annual eCommerce Africa Confex," Terrence Southam, joint managing director of Kinetic, told Fin24 on Friday. Kinetic specialises in creating business platforms for its clients

. eCommerce Africa will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on February 22 and 23 2017. According to Southam, it is the continuing rise of mobile connectivity and the rapid development of fintech products that are driving the e-commerce environment in Africa.

Just over 80% of people in Africa do not have access to traditional banking, yet the continent boasts more than 220 million registered mobile money accounts. "Understanding and accessing this increasingly connected, tech-savvy market should be the focal point for all e-commerce vendors going forward," said Southam.

He said the increasing interest in e-commerce opportities on the continent is demonstrated by the growth in the size of the eCommerce Africa Confex. The second confex, which took place in February this year had 1 100 delegates - a 140% increase in overall attendance compared to 2015.

The 2016 event was attended by 329 e-commerce companies and there was representation from four continents. "Next year we are trying to draw more attendees from East and West Africa and hope to get about 1 500 delegates and more than 100 international speakers. We are also opening up 15 hours of networking potential," explained Southam.

The 2017 show will also have a Money Africa track, totally dedicated to the increasingly important topics of fintech payments and mobile payments.

According to Chris Folayan, CEO of MallForAfrica, the e-commerce landscape in Africa is evolving so fast that it's almost impossible to keep up.

"I have found the eCommerce Africa conference to be one of the best ways to be informed and meet those who are making major disruptive and innovative changes in all aspects of ecommerce including a special new focus on fintech,” said Folayan.

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