Friday, 28 March 2014

e-commerce will drive IGDP and Marketplace will be the catalyst- Sim Shagaya, Konga.com

Like other western countries, e-commerce has become a social phenomenon that has continued to grow in Africa, especially in Nigeria and South Africa. In Nigeria, e-commerce is expected to drive iGDP.

Sim Shagaya, CEO of Konga.com on Monday 24th March, 2014 at the Nigeria summit currently holding at the Intercontinental hotel, Lagos organized by the Economist Magazine spoke on a panel moderated by Vladmir Duthiers, International CNN Correspondent.
Sim Shagaya, CEO of Konga.com

Also featuring on the panel were the Nigerian Minister of Communications Technology, Hon Omobola Johnson; Stephane Bacquaert, Managing director of Investments and Secretary of the Investment Committee, Wendell Group; and Acha Leke, Director, Mckinsey & Company

The focus of the panel was on “Nigeria and the digital economy” and kicked off with a 15 minutes presentation by the Minister of Communication Technology where she talked about some of the activities of her ministry and the efforts by the present crop of hard working Nigerian entrepreneurs.

Responding to a question on how ICT can drive employment, business and GDP, Sim Shagaya, CEO of Konga.com talked about how ICT is already providing jobs for Nigeria’s youth. Today, Konga has been able to bring a significant part of its technology development to Nigeria, hiring fresh engineering graduates from Nigerian Universities like UniIfe, Futo, etc and linking these graduates with relevant technologies and exposure that is helping them build long lasting technologies for Nigeria.


He also spoke about the new Konga Marketplace, a revolutionary platform created to help Nigerians become entrepreneurs and exposing other Nigerian entrepreneurs to the opportunity to reach a bigger and wider audience. The zero-commission based marketplace is the first of its kind in Africa and will be a force to truly unlock the potential of Nigerians. The marketplace place has the capacity to provide thousands of jobs for different classes of citizens with its interconnected systems.

Leke Acha, Director, Mckinsey & Company also spoke about the levels that internet’s contribution to total GDP need to reach in Nigeria/Africa for it to truly make a difference. For developed economies, internet contributes about three percent of GDP while in levels in Africa are at 1.1 percent while for Nigeria, about 0.8 percent.

Hon Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication and Technology spoke about the importance of collaboration between the government and private sectors to bring about sustainable growth and development in the ICT sector.

According to a Mckinsey report in November 2013 titled “Lions go digital: The Internet’s transformative potential in Africa”, Africa’s iGDP (which measures the Internet’s contribution to overall GDP) remains low, at 1.1 percent—just over half the levels seen in other emerging economies. But there is significant variation among individual countries. Senegal and Kenya, though not the continent’s largest economies, have Africa’s highest iGDPs, and governments in both countries have made concerted efforts to stimulate Internet demand. Without a doubt, the undeniable impact of the internet as a determining factor of Africa’s emerging economy can only be forecasted as one that will be monumentally progressive.

Sim Shagaya also went on the say that GDP attributable to internet would be relatively big in Nigeria and ecommerce would be a dominant component of iGDP.

The UPU Ecommerce Conference is currently holding in Switzeland where Konga.com will be sharing lessons learnt from the Nigerian ecommerce experience so far.

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