By Mark Kawalya
The E-trade and Startup Association of Uganda, a singular autonomous body that has been set up by e-commerce startups in Uganda to carry out inclusive trade, achieve economic growth and create jobs around the world.
The launch event took place on September 23rd, 2022 in Kampala and was officiated by State Minister for National Guidance Hon. Godfrey Kabbyanga on behalf of Hon. Chris Baryomunsi.
The association was founded by partners Safaboda, Tugende, KATA advocates and Jumia.
Hon Kabbyanga expressed gratitude to the E-Trade and Startup associations’ founding members for organizing industry players into one umbrella body. He added that this was an avenue for them to speak with one voice so that the government can listen when discussing issues at hand. “The government will ensure there are good laws and infrastructure to enable businesses to thrive,” he said.
Ron Kawamara (Jumia Uganda CEO) the Ag Chairperson of the E-Trade and Startup Association, said the association comes at a critical time when e-commerce is experiencing tremendous growth in Uganda. “The e-commerce ecosystem has grown, and we will continue to leverage growth and scale out consumers in Uganda. We are at the receiving end of the government.”
Tugende’s CEO, Michael Wilkerson, said that startups under the association are positioned to become job creators and some of the largest taxpayers in the country. “Startups and e-commerce businesses are not just about elites, we are seeing digital opportunities providing livelihoods and opportunities for rural farmers as well as fishermen on lakes; the same way for boda boda riders, right up to the top senior civil servants,” said Wilkerson.
By joining the association, firms are able to liaise with potential partners, access current e-commerce data, learn about upcoming e-commerce events learn about trends and best practices and fundraising opportunities.
Over the last five years, e-commerce companies have invested more than USD$300 million and remitted between USD$10 million and USD $15 million to the Uganda Revenue Authority annually.
The association cooperates with businesses through a private sector led advisory council, which encompasses large corporations and small businesses in Uganda. It promotes inclusive development by fostering the rise of e-commerce amongst member firms.