Online businesses in Kenya and Uganda can now reach a wider range of potential international clients and boost their exports with the launch of e-directories for the two countries: the Exporter Directory for Kenya and the Ugandan Exporter Directory.
The e-directories have been developed as part of the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF III), the umbrella group of projects supported by the Dutch government.
ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations which supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing and transition economies to gain a competitive edge in global markets.
The new tools will enable companies showcase their IT products and IT-enabled services (ITES) on a one-stop online platform.They will also be a common virtual marketplace for foreign companies to access potential suppliers of such products and services.
The e-directories are envisioned to pave the way for international contracts for the listed companies and expected to improve the way business is done by reducing the challenges of time and distance.
Digital growth in the region has occasioned the development of the,e-directories. Over the last five years, Uganda’s ICT sector has grown at an average annual rate of 19.7 per cent, adding an estimated 2.5 per cent to the country’s GDP.
Kenya’s IT sector has been dubbed ‘Silicon Savannah’ for its major contribution to the country’s economic growth. The Kenyan ICT Board estimated that the domestic ICT industry will be earning an estimated $2 billion by 2017, accounting for about 25 per cent of Kenya’s current GDP.
“These e-directories will help bring more of the global outsourcing market to Kenya and Uganda by allowing foreign companies to see the services provided by companies in the two countries. Kenya and Ugandan IT and ITES companies are increasingly being recognized as innovative and cost-competitive and this directory will further increase their visibility,” said Robert Skidmore, Chief of Sustainable and Inclusive Value Chains at ITC.
In Kenya, the private Kenya IT and Outsourcing Services (KITOS) association will host the country’s e-directory.The Exporter Directories went live on 10th November 2016.