Fred Aminga @faminga
The government is banking on digitising more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to boost productivity and spur economic growth.
Speaking during Jumia Kenya’s 2018 Black Friday launch event, Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo said the national economy depends a lot on SMEs which currently contribute up to 25 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employing 70 per cent of the workforce.
The PS further said it is possible to leverage the power of online retailers such as Jumia to help bridge trade deficit with other countries.
“Our trade policy has underscored the role of e-commerce in Kenya’s economic development. Let us appreciate private sector efforts such as Jumia, geared towards providing a platform for trade promotion and increasing exports through digitisation,” Kiptoo said.
“Making SMEs successful is at the heart of the government’s Big Four agenda on creating jobs for the youth,” he added.
More than 10,000 SMEs are already selling on the Jumia e-commerce platform with others planning to join during this year’s Jumia Black Friday sales extravaganza which will kick next month.
During the launch, Jumia announced that it is planning to increase its vendor base to 15,000 by 2019. “We plan to invest significantly in training for small and medium size businesses in 2019,” said Jumia’s managing director Sam Chappatte.
“Through this we hope to continue playing a part in the digitisation of the economy and job creation, and to support the government’s Big Four agenda on youth employment,” he said.
Chappatte said this year’s Black Friday will commence on November 2 and last for the entire month under the theme: “Every Friday is Black Friday this November”.
Kiptoo also urged SMEs to take advantage of the young techno-savvy youth who are now opting to shop online due to the high rate of smartphone penetration in the country.