Huawei recently held the 6th edition of the Unitech Talk themed The role of e-commerce in trading. The talk brought together experts from the private sector and the government, where they highlighted the impact and opportunities e-commerce presents.

Kenya has made significant strides with regards to digitization and creating an enabling environment for businesses and trade to flourish within the digital space. Kenya also has one of the most vibrant e-commerce ecosystems within Africa, showcasing significant growth potential within the region compared to other countries. Approximately 9% of Kenyans are regular e-commerce users, with the number growing everyday.

This evolution of e-commerce can be attributed to the steady growth of internet penetration, currently at 85.2%, access to mobile money such as M-PESA, and the growing fintech industry. All these have radically shifted the way individuals and SMEs use and move money, hence increasingly impacting the local e-commerce sector.

Lilian Njuguna, senior manager, Safaricom, acknowledged that M-PESA is further transforming access to credit. She added that in the future, M-PESA aims to be a digital lifestyle enabler and thereby serve as a backbone for e-commerce in Kenya.

Lawrence Karanja, CAS Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development applauded Huawei for supporting government efforts to improve digital literacy by offering online lectures. He further added that emerging technologies support the need for capacity-building and upscaling the skills set for our vibrant youth, so that they can actively contribute towards the growth of the economy.

In line with Kenya’s Vison 2030, Kenya continues to pride itself as a leader in driving financial inclusion through the use of digital finance solutions. This has been facilitated by various key players in the market such as banks, by providing intuitive digital and mobile banking platforms.

“Huawei continues to play an important role within this sector through collaboration with telcos, banking institutions amongst other key players in the market to develop infrastructure and contribute to some of the policies and regulations necessary for the success of the sector,” said Lee Maina, product executive Mobile Money at Huawei.

The UniTech Talk series will help position the Kenyan ICT industry to take advantage of the latest technologies, providing more awareness, knowledge and insights on where the opportunities are and the technical capabilities to grasp them. The series complements the ICT Academy program that partners with universities and training institutes to provide advanced, in-depth globally certified programs to hundreds of lecturers and thousands of students a year in Kenya alone.