Government Embraces E-Commerce Platforms Like Jumia To Digitize The Economy

Nairobi, 11th October 2018 – The government is planning to help digitize small and medium businesses over the next few years in a bid to boost national productivity and transform the economy. This is according to Dr. Chris Kiptoo, the Principal Secretary at the State Department for Trade.

While speaking at the launch of Jumia Kenya’s 2018 Black Friday mega annual sales event at Movenpick Hotel in Westlands, Dr. Kiptoo noted that SMEs are currently contributing up to 25 per cent of the country’s GDP while employing 70 per cent of the workforce.

“Making SMEs successful is at the heart of the government’s Big Four Agenda on creating jobs for the youth,” said Chris Kiptoo, the Principal Secretary at the State Department for Trade. Currently, over 10,000 SMEs are already selling on the Jumia E-Commerce platform. More are expected to join the basket during this year’s Jumia Black Friday sale which will kick off on November 2, and run through the month of November.

Jumia is set to take part in the upcoming United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) conference which is themed: ‘Empowering African economies in the digital era’ during the Africa eCommerce Week. UNCTAD event will be jointly organized with the African Union and the European Union and hosted by the Government of Kenya from 10th – 14th December, 2018.

Africa eCommerce Week will examine ways to enhance the ability of African countries to engage in and benefit from e-commerce and the evolving digital economy.

“Our Trade Policy has underscored the role of e-commerce to Kenya’s economic development. It is with pleasure therefore that we appreciate private sector efforts such as Jumia, geared towards providing a platform for trade promotion and increasing exports through digitization”, said Chris Kiptoo, the Principal Secretary at the State Department for Trade.

Kenya’s E-Commerce is now estimated at 6 per cent of all purchases made in 2017. This has also seen Kenya emerge as a leading e-commerce hub in the continent alongside South Africa and Nigeria. 27 per cent of firms in Kenya now sell their products online.

The PS further 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 Kenya. Currently smartphones penetration rate stands at 29.6 million unique mobile subscriptions in 2017 and is expected to rise to 35 million by 2025 setting the ground for the prosperity of e-commerce in the country with affordable smartphone and accessible internet for this breed of customers.

Kenya leads globally in the share of internet traffic at 83% (coming from mobile phones overtaking Nigeria at 81%, which was at the top in 2017).

“We are making progressive steps in this direction through promotion of innovation and creation of a business enabling environment,” he said. “We shall work to foster digital economic activities that benefit enterprises and society, and that have a clear competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”

During the launch, Jumia announced that it is planning to increase its vendor base from the current 10,000 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 digitization of the economy and job creation, and to support the government’s Big Four Agenda on youth employment.”


This year’s Black Friday will commence from 2nd November and will last for the entire month dubbing it: Every Friday is Black Friday this November!


Jumia announced their first deals during the event, including;

●     Free Delivery for customers who pay with Visa (up to 250 KES)

●     Free Orders for New Customers to Jumia for Coca Cola bottles

●     And discounts of up to 70% off on over 1 million products


Jumia expects this year’s Black Friday to be twice as large as 2017, continuing e-commerce’s strong growth.