Promoting e-Commerce in Africa

Project description

Title: Pan-African e-Commerce Initiative – Boosting African Digital Trade
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, East African Community (EAC)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Finance (MoF) in Ghana, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development (MoITED) in Kenya, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) in Rwanda, East African Community (EAC) Secretariat 
Overall term: 2020 to 2023

GIZ_Thomas Imo_


Electronic commerce, also known as e-Commerce, is an increasingly important procurement and sales channel in emerging African economies. However, the prerequisites that would enable African companies to participate in cross-border e-Commerce are not yet in place. These include safe and affordable electronic payment systems, consumers’ and companies’ trust in e-Commerce, digital capability of small and medium-sized enterprises, and supportive regulatory frameworks.


The preconditions for companies to participate in cross-border e-Commerce have improved in selected African countries.


The project focusses on strengthening the framework conditions for e-Commerce. To this end, it is advising the East African Community on developing a regional e-Commerce strategy. The Smart Africa Secretariat was supported in the creation of a Blueprint for improving electronic payment systems for digital trade, which is being piloted in African countries.

The project supports small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in e-Commerce. To achieve this, it is forming partnerships with private companies to deliver practice-oriented training courses in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda – with a particular focus on women-led enterprises. In cooperation with relevant stakeholders, it is also facilitating the digitisation of the leather value chain in East Africa through supporting the development of a regional Business-to-Business platform. In Rwanda, the project is advising the ICT Chamber on establishing a trust seal for e-Commerce companies, with the aim of increasing consumers’ and retailers’ trust in electronic business. It is also supporting e-Commerce associations and promoting their integration into Pan-African networks and structures.

Last update: February 2022