Amman Stock Market Falls    Russia Reports 6,431 New Coronavirus Cases, 150 Deaths    HRH Crown Prince Congratulates President of Guinea-Bissau on Independence Day    Saudi Press: Saudi Arabia Celebrates 90th Anniversary of its National Day With Comprehensive Development    Weather Forecast for Wednesday    Land of the future Saudi Arabia celebrates its 90th National Day with a proud history and bright future    Saudi Cabinet calls for confronting Iran's destabilizing behavior    Saudi Arabia allows gradual resumption of Umrah from Oct. 4    Al-Qasabi lauds efforts of trade and investment working group    HyperX releases first Arabic layout keyboard for gaming    Riyadh Ranks the 5th Smart City among G20 Member States' Capitals, on IMD Indicator    Saudi Arabia's National Day holds exceptional significance for Yemenis    BAB confirms banks' readiness to defer loan installments    Happy National Day 90    Global oil & gas project sanctioning is set to recover and exceed pre-COVID-19 levels from 2022    Roma given defeat by Serie A for using ineligible player    Sotheby's, Phillips and Ketterer adapt to the new reality    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Receives Cables of Congratulations on the Kingdom's 90th National Day from Rulers of Fujairah, Oum Al-Quwain, Sharjah, Ras Al-Khimah & Ajman    Health officials get first dose of COVID-19 vaccine    UAE nuclear energy plant Unit 1 reaches 50% power capacity    Kingdom to mark 90th National Day with pride    India's new COVID-19 cases at lowest in almost a month    Saudi Arabia continues to work toward achieving peace in Yemen: Prince Khalid    AL Secretary General Meets with Arab Parliament's Speaker    50 riders to take part in National Day show jumping competition    Amman Stock Market Falls    Abu Dhabi, Israel, forge film ties following peace accord    AlUla Date Festival to Launch Next Month    Bahrain Bourse Falls    Air show, fireworks planned for 90th Saudi National Day    My goal is to lift the national football cup: Maram    SGS Signs MoU to Use Best Technologies in Sterilizing Planes and Airports in Saudi Arabia    SAGO Completes Procedures for 6th Barley Tender in 2020    UAE Team Emirates' Pogacar wins the Tour De France    New expat body to help women, kids tackle pandemic trauma    Every work has its fruits, so choose wisely    Wydad appeal over CAF 2019 Champions' final dismissed by CAS    Saudi Youths Transfer Saudi Arabia's Culture via Animation Production    Saudi Scholarship Program to Promote Football Talents, abroad, Co-sign Accord with Spanish Real Sociedad    French Open to allow 11,500 fans per day between the three show courts    Saudi Films' Festival virtual Events Continued    Saudi Films' Festival Events Continue, amid Wide-Scale Cultural Participation    Mediation center contributes to 22% decrease in divorces    Saudi woman seeks to restrain wealthy hubby from remarrying    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    Senior Scholars Council Issues Decision No. 246 Regarding Attendance of Friday Prayer and Prayers at Mosques in a Case of Spread of Epidemic or Fear of its Spread    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Addresses Citizens and Muslims on Eid Al-Fitr    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Uganda looks online for answers to COVID economic crisis
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 15 - 08 - 2020

From banking, to food delivery, and taxi bookings, Uganda is rapidly becoming accustomed to many of the online tools that are commonplace in developed economies, and which don't rely on face-to-face interactions. The UN is supporting this shift, as a way to help developing economies recover from the global economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ruth Tindyebwa, a market vendor in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, was badly affected by the government's lockdown measures, imposed on March 22. Much of her custom came from people walking past her stall on the way to work. After the restrictions were put into place, this source of income dried up. Things have now turned around, however, thanks to a project set up by the UN, in collaboration with a local company called Safeboda.
Safer options
Safeboda promises users a safer option than the usual "bodabodas", the motorcycle taxis, often unlicenced, that weave their way through the streets of Uganda and other east African countries.
The company operates in a way that is familiar to users of well-known taxi-hailing platforms, such as Uber or Lyft: users download an app, enter their destination and see the estimated cost of their ride. The company offers assurances that the drivers will be safe, well-trained and professional.
After the Ugandan government enacted its lockdown measures, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), responded by launching its partnership with Safeboda, creating a new e-commerce platform that connects market vendors to customers.
Orders for produce are placed via the Safeboda app, and paid for, using its mobile wallet feature. The company's accredited riders then deliver the produce.
The result has been a boost in trade for hundreds of market vendors, regular income for the bodaboda drivers, and a safe way for customers to receive the goods.
Tindyebwa was one of the first market vendors to sign up to the project: her daily sales are now even higher than they were before lockdown. "The most amazing part is that I can save for my children's school fees on my e-wallet as I wait for the schools to reopen after this lockdown," she said.
‘E-commerce has come and it will never go away'
The Safeboda scheme is not the only partnership launched by the UN in Uganda. In May, the UN Development Program (UNDP) joined forces with Jumia Foods, the country's largest e-commerce company, to create an online platform specifically designed to connect some of the most vulnerable members of the workforce with potential customers.
The initiative is designed to empower those hit hardest in the informal trade sector, and more than 60 per cent of those who have signed up for it are women, young people, and persons with disabilities.
It also helps to connect farmers, keeping alive the flow of products from rural areas to urban markets. As part of the support, UNDP is providing sellers more than 3,000 vendors in five Kampala markets, with smartphones, airtime, and data packages.
At the launch of the partnership in May, Amelia Kyambadde, Uganda's minister of trade, industry and cooperatives, declared that she expects it to promote the growth of online commerce. "One of the lessons we have learnt is that e-commerce has come, and it will never go away", she said.
Elsie Attafuah, the UNDP Resident Representative in Uganda, was equally upbeat, describing the partnership with Jumia as a "safe, convenient and fast service to the citizens of Uganda", which will boost trade.
"COVID-19 presents not only a health but also a humanitarian and development crisis that is threatening to leave deep social, economic and political scars for years. It is, therefore, important to expand e-commerce to enable business continuity, support livelihoods and enable early recovery from the pandemic", she added.
Innovating a way out of crisis
One of the aims of such partnerships, is to demonstrate the many benefits of digital services to small businesses and consumers, and encourage further digital innovation, leading to sustainable growth in the Ugandan economy.
In many other ways, the UN is working closely with Ugandan government to turn things around, by using digital tools.
The UN Safeboda and Jumia schemes are just two examples of the ways in which online commerce can help to kickstart, in a sustainable way that benefits all, the Ugandan economy. Like so many other countries around the world, Uganda is struggling to cope with the devastating effects of the economic crisis brought about by COVID-19.
The World Bank estimates that real GDP growth this year will be less than 2 per cent, compared with almost 5.6 per cent in 2019.
The UN agency for trade, UNCTAD, has made several recommendations, on how to improve the supply of digital services in Uganda, and UNDP is supporting the government in its development of an e-commerce strategy, which has seen new laws have been passed, aimed at improving people's trust in online transactions.
E-commerce has been identified by the UN as a powerful way to drive growth, boost trade and create jobs, but many developing countries are still lagging behind in this area.
Through initiatives such as UNCTAD's e-trade for all platform, which aims to coordinate the efforts of NGOs, foundations, and others, to harness the potential of the internet for economic development, it is hoped that the progress seen in Uganda can be replicated elsewhere, as governments attempt to navigate their way out of this unprecedented global crisis. — UN News


Clic here to read the story from its source.