e-Commerce: Léon Juste Ibombo shares Congo Brazza experience with GSMA members

[DIGITAL BUSINESS AFRICA] – The Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Digital Economy, Mr. Léon Juste Ibombo, presented, on September 30, 2021, to the participants of the e-commerce summit, the e-commerce experience of Congo, in order to promote the development of Central Africa.

Organized by videoconference by GSMA and the Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations (UNECA), this e-commerce summit aimed to accelerate e-commerce via mobile phone.
It also aimed to promote a digital inclusion policy for the benefit of rural communities and other disadvantaged sections of the population, so that they can enjoy the same opportunities, in particular those offered by electronic commerce at affordable and non-discriminatory prices, regardless of their geographic location.

Speaking of the Congo experience, Mr. Ibombo cited some achievements, including basic infrastructure, including e-commerce platforms, which are the first link for the development of e-commerce and mobile services, legislation to protect the population and recognize transactions, as well as the total tax exemption of the instruments. of electronic communications.

According to him, to promote access to electronic commerce, as part of the democratization of access to electronic communications, the government exempted all taxes and fees, in accordance with the 2021 finance law.

Taking into account all the laws that Congo has ratified, the country is ahead of other African states. Thus, he was chosen to share his experience with the member countries of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (Cemac), he said.

For two years, he continued, all access terminals imported into Congo, including mobile phones, laptops, electronic tablets, cash registers and electronic payment terminals will not be taxed, in order to allow the penetration of mobile telephony.
For him, thanks to these devices, users will be able to make transactions from their homes without having to travel to pay phone bills, electricity, water and taxes.

In addition, he said that Congo is preparing for this great opening to part of the world, guaranteeing, at a national and international level, visibility for producers, artisans, local traders, so that they are at the height of this great competitive market that is ahead.

In this regard, the minister responsible for digital underlined that producers, artisans and traders will leverage their know-how and improve their offer through the creation of commercial websites, true large-scale virtual stores.
Despite the achievements made, the development of online commerce still faces many obstacles related to the content and containers of this type of commerce, noted Mr. Ibombo.

However, he expressed confidence that the internet will be the channel par excellence through which the artistic creations of Congolese artisans will be sold on a large scale, indicating that the government is working in this direction.

On the penetration of mobile telephony in Congo, he said that the rate is 109% in the last quarter of 2021, before listing the figures taken from the economic analyzes of the Universal Postal Union (UPu) in the e-commerce sector. These are estimated at 10% of the growth rate of the global e-commerce market, US$4.88 million for e-commerce revenue in 2021, 30% of the total online retail sales in 2030.

Continuing with the numbers from those analyses, he said that the number of mobile subscribers is estimated by the GSMA for the year 2021 to be half a billion people and a billion mobile connections in 2024.

In addition, Mr. Ibombo highlighted that with the security measures adopted by States to protect populations from the coronavirus, in particular the closing of borders and the limitation of trade and the confinement of populations, e-commerce activities have experienced a resurgence.

Thus, he said that the health crisis made it possible to highlight the increasingly predominant place of e-commerce as a driving activity for economic development and social inclusion.

As a result, he indicated that the government intends to continue its efforts to promote e-commerce in the country. “Aware of the challenges and potentialities linked to e-commerce, we are reflecting on the creation of an e-commerce observatory to monitor local and regional market trends.“, he added.

According to him, the creation of this observatory will also make it possible to assess economic prospects in the light of African realities, predict and anticipate technical skills and jobs, ensure adequate means of payment and measure the adaptation of regulations to prepare VSMEs in Congo, as well as startups for Zlecaf’s large African market.


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