Agency bets on e-commerce in bid to boost small-scale exports

DrWilfredMarube
DrWilfredMarube

The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA) has inked a deal with the International Trade Centre (ITC), a subsidiary organ of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to enhance the e-commerce capacities of Kenyan small-scale exporters as part of efforts to resolve pain points in the trade.

KEPROBA is a state corporation mandated to implement export promotion and nation branding initiatives and policies in order to promote the country’s export trade.

In the deal signed yesterday, the ITC SME Academy, which is an online platform offering self-taught courses, will be opened up for Kenyan traders who will be required to complete the training in two weeks.

The program, dubbed EcomConnect, will heighten the exploration of e-commerce potential by traders by equipping them with skills on how they can use digital tools to access global markets.

The partnership will also aid in the development of joint initiatives to build a community of e-commerce entrepreneurs in Kenya as well as raise awareness to propel the uptake and success of the business model.

“Today we celebrate yet another milestone of empowering our exporters to be able to interact and sell globally through e-commerce. This initiative will help expand our export pie in the global markets,” said KEPROBA CEO Wilfred Marube.

Since its inception in 2019, KEPROBA has remained keen to advance e-commerce for Kenyan exporters as part of the wider strategy to adopt non-traditional means in foreign trade and country marketing.

During the development of the agency’s current strategic plan, a lack of information and skills among entrepreneurs was identified as one of the hindrances to export growth.

The agency has set up an integrated and interactive e-portal that seeks to link Kenyan exporters to buyers across the world.

The platform also serves as a reservoir of information for various stakeholders to influence trade, investments and positive nation branding.

Dr Marube reckons that well-trained exporters are not only able to effectively negotiate with foreign entities and attract more foreign investment in identified sectors, but also encourage robust trade domestically.

ITC has supported the development of similar initiatives in other African countries among them Ghana and Nigeria.

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