Sim Shagaya, CEO of Konga, Nigeria’s leading ecommerce platform, has identified electronic commerce (e-commerce) as a very important driver of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Speaking as one of the panelist at the recent Economist Magazine Summit held in Lagos, Shagaya said the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is helping to bridge unemployment gap in Nigeria.
Last month, Shagaya created Konga MarketPlace to help Nigerians become entrepreneurs and also give existing Nigerian entrepreneurs the opportunity to reach a bigger and wider audience by using the web at no commission.
According to him, Konga MarketPlace has provided graduates the opportunity to exhibit entrepreneurial traits, thus boosting the SME sector and overall economy.
E-commerce has achieved a growing influence in Nigeria’s retail terrain with the rise of e-commerce stores like Jumia, Konga, DealDey, Gidimall and kaymu.
While Nigeria’s e-commerce market is developing rapidly, with an estimated growth rate of 25 percent annually, industry experts believe the country’s over 170 million population will play help maintain and increase this recorded growth.
However, Mckinsey & Company’s Director, Leke Acha, says for e-commerce to contribute significantly to the country’s GDP, the country must boost its level of ICT and internet penetration.
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) identified Senegal and Kenya as African countries with the highest internet contribution to GDP compared to Nigerian internet sector which contributed contributed just about 0.8 percent to the country’s GDP.
“For developed economies, Internet contributes about three per cent of GDP, while in some African countries; it contributes about 1.1 per cent to the GDP. For Nigeria, it is still at about 0.8 per cent,” Acha said.
Nevertheless, with conscious effort among African governments to boost infrastructural development in the ICT sector and significant investment in the telecommunications industry, access to affordable internet services will be boosted.
According to economic experts, increased access to internet will fuel the success of e-commerce not only in Nigeria, but across the entire African continent.