African countries should enhance the security of online commerce platforms amid risk of attack by cyber criminals, an executive said on Tuesday.
Ebrima Fatty, chief executive officer of Africa Sokoni, a Kenyan-based e-commerce platform said strengthening cyber defenses is key to ensure that online trading is safe and seamless in the continent.
“With the wide assortment of products ranging from electronics, appliances and fashion from Africa and Asian continent, the sector is set for growth, improving livelihoods and contributing to the gross domestic product,” Fatty told journalists in Nairobi.
He said that due to the outbreak of COVID-19, consumers in the continent got their supplies through online platforms since countries declared partial lockdowns as measures to contain the spread of the virus.
Fatty said the continent requires appropriate innovations to help disrupt the entire industries, increase economic growth and reduce poverty.
“Last year’s disruption occasioned by COVID-19 has hugely contributed to the shift in e-commerce in the continent,” said Fatty.
He said that during the lockdowns, online platforms made profits amid prospects for growth in sales and e-commerce adoption rate from consumers in the year 2021 onwards.
“During the rise of COVID-19 that led most governments to declare lockdown measures to contain the spread of the virus, the majority of people resorted to online shopping, a trend that is due to be long-lasting in the coming years, “said Fatty.
He said that Africa Sokoni is set to open three new branches in west and east African countries to promote and sell a range of locally manufactured goods.
Fatty said the firm is planning to create a cyber-security division to enhance response to attacks and build confidence among consumers.
“This will help customers have confidence in the e-commerce platform as a place to transact business with ease,” said Fatty.