Trade Ministry is finalizing new platform to serve Chinese community
A game-changing e-commerce company is slated to join Ethiopia’s digital economy within the next six months. The e-commerce company, which is nearing implementation, is birthed from the partnership between Alibaba, china’s e-commerce giant, and Ermias Amelga, an Ethiopian business magnate with immense experience in banking, technology and real estate, among others.
“It will take us six months to launch the company and start implementations. There are some challenges such as difficulties in accessing foreign currency,” said Ermias, adding “We have partnered with Alibaba, to launch an e-commerce company in Ethiopia. The name of the new company will include Alibaba and another local name that represents us.”
The new e-commerce platform, on which all items in Ethiopian shops will have a digital presence, is expected to place Ethiopia on a new digital economic trajectory, with end-to-end online ordering, e-payment, and delivery systems.
Similarly, the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration (MoTRI) is also finalizing a new platform that will serve the Chinese community in Ethiopia, which is estimated to be close to 300,000, The Reporter has learnt.
The agreements were reached when Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder visited Ethiopia.
The need for digital transaction took-off following the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with measures taken by the central bank to discourage cash usage. The decision to liberalize the telecom sector by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration has also given momentum to the trend. Currently, there are close to 30 e-commerce companies in Ethiopia.
“The existing situation in Ethiopia is enabling e-commerce. Fully digitized e-commerce can be realized gradually,” said Ermias.
A draft electronic transaction regulation, crafted by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MInT) has also been reviewed by the Ministry of Justice and tabled to the Office of the Prime Minister. The Parliament passed the Electronic Transaction proclamation last year.
“Once approved, the e-transaction regulation will enable end-to-end e-commerce service,” said Mandefro Eshete (PhD), legal affairs advisor at MInT.
The Ministry of Revenue is already installing technologies that enable e-receipts, among other e-services.