Ncube said the adoption of the multiple currency system in 2009 presented a strong opportunity for the growth of e-commerce in Zimbabwe. He said Zimbabwe now had a chance to catch up with the rest of the world if the financial and retail sectors took the lead.
“E-commerce is a function of the country’s economic performance,” Ncube said. “The historical factor of a rigid exchange control regime basically made it impossible to develop e-commerce.”
Consumers across the world are increasingly substituting physically visiting stores and banks for the convenience of online shopping and banking, as this has become a more popular and safe option.
Zimbabwe’s e-commerce revolution is being stalled by the high costs and poor accessibility of the internet.
According to online firm ZOLife, estimates indicate that 85% of the world’s internet users had carried out online transactions as the amount of global trade conducted electronically has grown beyond expectations with widespread internet usage.
The company said as bandwidth costs decreased and internet usage improved in Zimbabwe, e-commerce would become an important part of the economy.
Ncube said the ICT development initiative was being pro-actively pursued at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa level without much having been done at the Southern African Development Community.