Laikipia County Government has collaborated with a local internet firm to promote e-commerce as the Coronavirus epidemic continues to hurt various businesses.
The county together with Mawingu Networks and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry have agreed to develop an e-commerce platform to enable local business to sustain themselves.
The partnership comes at a time when people have been encouraged to stay indoors as a way of maintaining social distance recommended by health experts to curb the spread of the disease that is causing havoc to the world’s economy.
“This is an online trading platform that will aid home deliveries for various products. We have developed it so that people can work from home and also help them earn a living,” said Laikipia chapter KNCCI chairman Ndegwa Gitonga.
The joint effort targets to bring onboard players providing essentials services such as food and medicine on a common mobile phone-based platform where they can do business remotely.
The mobile phone application enables buyers and sellers to exchange contact details to allow the exchange of goods and services remotely. It also allows government agencies such as the public health officers to ensure the actors on the platform adhere to health regulations and standards.
“We are keen on promoting e-commerce as a new economic front to promote large-scale e-commerce in Laikipia. Covid-19 crisis is introducing changes in habits, and we must sustain the innovative solutions to these problems even after the crisis,” deputy governor John Mwaniki said.
In Nanyuki, the local branch of international Fast Food outlets, Java House is also feeling the effects of the shutting down of eateries. A supervisor Ms Beatrice Mumbi, said online orders are starting to pick up.
“We have scaled-down operations but with the rising trend in online orders, we might spare ourselves complete closure,” she said.
The restaurant has collaborated with a local delivery agent to help deliver orders to their clients, although some of the customers prefer sending in motorcycle taxis to pick their orders.
Another Nanyuki hotel operator Mr Festus Mutie who has adopted the technology said delivering food to his clients’ homes ensured his business is up and running, although not as it would normally.
He said home deliveries is limited to solid food for now, which is denying him a good deal of income from drinks. However, the hotelier predicts that the packaging of food and other products for direct delivery will present a new competition front shortly.
He said the more businesses venture into e-commerce, the better the odds for those offering special packaging, and he is confident he is well prepared.
The county government has already adopted video-conferencing for all its managerial and cabinet meetings even after the Coronavirus crisis to save time and resources, Mr Mwaniki said.
Sci & Tech
The joint effort targets to bring onboard players providing essentials services such as food and medicine