The Spectrum Of Business In Africa Through E-Commerce

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Small scale and large scale entrepreneurs have taken the advantage of the effectiveness of the media and technology, including e-commerce to promote and market products, reaching every corner of the globe without fatigue. What is e-commerce and how has it been beneficial to entrepreneurs?

Assuming you live in Asia, Europe or America, would you like to travel thousands of kilometers for a product you want desperately in South Africa? Taking such a journey is not only waste of time but also money. Remember time is money. Through the birth of modern technology, e-commerce acts as a facilitator in getting your message to the manufacturer to send the consumer whatever he is looking for online.

Thus; E-commerce is online shopping making it easier for consumers to purchase products via the internet from manufacturers. E-commence enhances business to reach beyond consumer base and access global markets like never before. Last year, November 18, delegates at the ‘Sixth Annual European Conference highlighted on the effect and impact of in E-commerce generally in Europe.

The European E-Commerce sector is said to worth an estimated 350 billion Euros and it is predicted to create 1.5 million jobs in Europe by 2018.  The writer takes a look at the impact and benefit of e-commerce in Africa’s business. The effect of E-commerce business in the African continent is enormous, changing the face of the traditional consumer.

Internet trade has made it easier for African entrepreneurs to search for quality products online, compare prices and purchased products. According to research by Google South Africa, there was an increase of 49% in query volumes in Nigeria, 37% in South Africa and 33% in Kenya, during 2014.  E-commerce hasn’t been beneficial only to African entrepreneurs, consumers and manufacturers, but also attracted widely investment opportunities alike.

Some of the African countries with booming E-commerce markets, transforming the economic landscape are Senegal, Morocco, Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, Cameroun, and Kenya. At the epicenter of Africa’s thriving economy and business, E-commerce has driven hundreds of businessmen to success, in different fields, especially the mobile telephone industry.   In the year 2010 alone, the Ghanaian government made GHC598 million in taxes and levies, representing 10% of government income for that year.

The secret to every successful business depends on the variety and quality of the products. E-commerce holds a ray of hope for African entrepreneurs and small scale business. It seems after gaining the political independence; Africa folded its arms, waiting for a miracle to come from heaven. God helps those who help themselves, now Africa is gradually emerging from the realms of poverty through the eye of E-commerce.

Africa In The Hands Of China After Colonialism

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Robert Mugabe shakes hands with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.  

Like the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, distinguishing the flames of communism, colonialism and Apartheid also faded after the Europeans lost its grip on Africa, when demanding of political independence swept through Africa colony in the fifties.

Even though Africa is much underestimated, the continent’s rich mineral resources always attract both developing and developed countries. China is now actively engaged in Africa, but under heavy criticism, because the West and America see them as opportunists interested in Africa’s resources.

Nearly 600 years ago, the first Chinese reached Africa during the Ming dynasty, a period of cultural restoration and expansion, on the coast of Kenya. The next significant arrival was in the early 1900’s when about 60,000 Chinese miners worked on goldfields in South Africa. Later, Chairman Mao Zedong sent tens of thousands of agricultural and construction workers to Africa to enhance ties with countries emerging from colonialism.

Africa, taken as a continent of ignorance, attract Europeans and Asians because many believe that without enough education, Africa is a place one can easily set up a business and be a boss. A weak economy, influenced by rampant corruption, has allowed African leaders quickly welcoming Chinese business entrepreneurs to Africa. The Chinese have taken over the construction works in Africa, employing hundreds of Chinese and African nationals, becoming the most aggressive investor-nation in Africa.

Although China is playing a significant role in the construction and engineering sectors in Africa, not everything that glitters is gold. Chinese companies are cutting into Africa’s profits. Most African companies are losing jobs to the Chinese companies because a lot of the African leaders have confidence in them and also they offer lower construction prices. Nevertheless; trade between China and Africa reached a new high last year, totaling US$198.5 billion. It is estimated that about 1 million Chinese people are engaged in different sectors in Africa.

The strong presence of Chinese in Africa has sparked controversy, as America and Europe continue to accuse them of flooding the market with inferior or cheap quality products. Due to the rate of poverty, Africans rely on affordable products. It seems they have found solution and satisfaction in Chinese products. To build a good relationship with African leaders China continues to support and giving a loan to Africa to enhance its developments.

In Ghana, a crackdown on illegal miners exploiting the gold industry led to the deportation of thousands of Chinese nationals from the country. The Immigration authorities say more than 4,500 Chinese nationals were repatriated after a series of swoops on illegal goldmines; souring the relationship between the governments of Ghana and China.

Many Ghanaians and local residents aren’t happy over the action of the Ghanaian government. “They were the ones that provided the mining equipment, most of the Ghanaians left behind can’t continue their operations,” said one of the local residents, but many Ghanaians concerned about health and environmental hazards lauded the government’s efforts to curb illegal mining.

The question is: Why years after colonialism Africa still depend on foreign aid, despite economic growth in many parts of the continent significantly outpacing the global average?’ How is the money spent and how can Africa progress without foreign aid? What is the significance of independence when Africa is still crawling like a baby learning how to move around?

Science and technology provide the transformation of every developing and developed country, in this way, Africa have to build expertise in these areas for the economy to take off, but since corruption has affected every infrastructure, the continent has a long way to go and will always lack behind in development.