Govt to revisit e-commerce bottlenecks

Govt to revisit e-commerce bottlenecks

THE government is keen on reviewing guidelines that govern e-commerce in the country.

Deputy Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Engineer Kundo Mathew said here on Tuesday that the government will revisit the regulations that seem to hamper the buying and selling of goods and services over an electronic network.

Fielding questions from reporters on the sidelines of the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) Day, the deputy minister hinted that his office may soon start collecting views from key stakeholders with a view of having the guidelines and regulations reviewed.

“We acknowledge the concerns from the private sector, if need be we will review the regulations governing e-commerce,” he disclosed.

Eng Kundo’s assurance comes following concerns raised by the Association of Courier Service Providers on exorbitant fees and taxes that the body says it was locking out local courier companies.

Through its Acting Chairperson James Mwambona, the body also decried the multiplicity of taxes in the business, which he said was now frustrating potential customers from buying goods and products from e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba and Amazon.

“The government should at least put a margin on every product because our customers now prefer other options and destinations like Kenya for importing their goods and products,” observed the Couriers’ Association Acting Chairperson.

According to Mr Mwambona, a product retailing at 10 US dollars (about 23,075/-) on e-commerce would be costing around 50 US dollars (about 115 375/-) upon arrival, thanks to the hefty taxes that are imposed on the selling and buying of goods and services electronically.

Speaking earlier, PAPU Secretary General, Mr Sifundo Moyo underscored the importance of embracing innovation as the world continues to grapple with Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that innovation should now be a necessity and a driving force during the pandemic. Mr Moyo equally urged postal associations on the continent to forge symbiotic relationships in sharing risks, experiences and knowledge.

The specialised agency of the AU agency was established January 18, 1980 following the decision of the Plenipotentiary Conference of 35 the then Organization of African Union (OAU) member countries during a meeting held from January 8 to 18 1980 in Arusha.

With 45 members to its name, the Union is charged with the coordination of all activities aimed at developing postal services on the African continent. 

The core theme of this year’s edition, namely ‘Harnessing synergies with players of the wider postal sector’, is in sync with the proposed opening-up of the Universal Postal Union, which has been and remains a centerpiece of the global postal agenda in recent times.

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