The era has come to the point where internet rules the way business and social life is done greatly influencing the day to day activity of business. It’s easy and fast reach to customers has enticed the Ethiopian youth to go online offering and buying services virtually.
The internet has become a part of the daily life for Ethiopians with more people opting faster and the modern way of doing business. Ethiopia’s booming telecom industry serves close to 24 million mobile subscribers across the country who are using their phone to purchase items offered online. The state has made Information Communications Technology (ICT) one of the developmental priorities to integrate the country into a global economy, motivating local entrepreneurs and international investors such as Jumia Travel.
Internet has had a profound impact on Ethiopia in the few decades that it has been around. One of the most remarkable progress of its history has been its development in increasing internet coverage, coping with the continent’s growth. According to Internet Africa Project, over 167 million of the a billion people in Africa have access to internet and connectivity and the number is in the rise; so are online businesses.
The online transaction allows small businesses to benefit from the country’s market generating revenue and decreasing operating costs. Although there still exists lack of trust and fear of losing money among the public; online businesses are thriving slowly, earning the buyer’s trust and sharing significant part with the face to face service providers. Virtual trades are slowly shifting the gear on how business is done, selling from household items to clothing and electronics. The introduction of online banking services through mobile and card banking has also played a considerable role; encouraging online transactions.
Such transformative business emphasis and growing demand on technology has led to the introduction of 4G (fourth generation) mobile service offering a high speed link. The network offers much faster speed than the 3G which allows users to browse with speedy internet connection. As part of the $1.6 billion mega telecom projects to expand mobile infrastructure, 4G is serving 400,000 subscribers in Addis Ababa. The brand new system has a monthly package ranging from $21 for 2 gigabytes to $180 for 30 gigabytes supporting the growing online businesses. A similar project also targets 60 million additional subscribers doubling the existing 3G capacity, revealing the encouraging future of connectivity in Ethiopia.
To cope with the growing demand, Addis Ababa rolled out 10,000 km fiber increasing mobile transmission network and number of mobile subscribers by 45%. The first e-government strategy approved in 2011, projects the implementation of 219 e-services comprising of 79 information and 140 transaction based services. Mobile devices, call centers, websites will facilitate the service delivery digitizing the public sectors services.
Ethio Telecom continues to improve from inflexible procedures, lack of infrastructure and underdeveloped capacity to develop infrastructure and establishment of new businesses. The service has revolutionized the speed and ease of doing business. Studies have shown that growth in telecommunications generates revenue which contributes to overall economic growth. It can reduce transaction costs for business and increase efficiency of markets upgrading service delivery capacity.