Unlicensed E-commerce Sites Prompt Timid Digital World

Mar 11 , 2023

Only one website is legally registered with an e-commerce license in the country leaving out the current online markets unrecognized by the Ministry of Trade & Regional Integration. According to Jirata Nemera, head of licensing and regulatory at the Ministry, CropConex which offers a coffee transaction digital platform is the only online service provider officially registered under e-commerce service. CropConex was licensed as the first e-Commerce platform operator on November 2022. There are over 20 e-commerce websites in Ethiopia that are commonly referred to as e-commerce. Despite the Digital Ethiopia 2025 plan of the current administration, it seems the primitive electronic commerce sector has not even managed to gain proper licensing, as most of the sites offering the services operate under a commission license and delivery service license. This same principle is used by taxi-hailing electronic platforms who have to get a transport and a business license separately. The rapidly increasing internet usage nationally will require a legislative framework for businesses that develop around it according to several experts. Jirata said the essence of buying and selling goods or services and executing money and data transfer using the internet has been lost as trust is not built between end-users and service providers. The currently burgeoning expanded VAT proclamation will see to a tax on all digital service providers, which will be difficult to achieve if a proper classification of the businesses does not transpire. According to a report by the International Trade Administration, digital commerce is in its infancy in Ethiopia compared to its large population size. Other African countries strived and are far ahead in helping e-commerce, and online transactions flourish. Kenya legislated its Electronic Transactions Bill in 2007, and the Information & Communication Bill the following year.


Court Blocks BGI Ethiopia's Assets Trying High Stake Lawsuits

Judges at the Federal First Instance Court issued an injunction last week, halting the sale of BGI Ethiopia's headquarters and the transfer of shares in Brasseries International Holding Limited (B.I.H). The injunction, signed by Judge Girawork Yitbarek, ruled immediate delivery to the defendants. The legal action followed a high-stakes lawsuit filed by Zewudnesh G. Asrat, an 80-year-old woman, against BGI Ethiopia, Jean P. Blavierre, B.I.H, and Hebu Properties Limited. The plaintiff claims a...


Ethiopia's Third Shot at Peace Gets a $6.7m Boost

A 6.7 million dollars to finance the National Rehabilitation Commission (NRC)'s disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) program for nearly 370,000 ex-combatants, was pledged by the Japanese government. The financing will be channelled to the design, implementation and monitoring of the DDR program across eight regional states. Shibata Hironori, ambassador of Japan to Ethiopia, signed the agreement last week at the Ministry of Finance headquarters on King George VI St with Tesfalem...


Digital Startups Seek Level Playing Field

Digital service providers gathered to discuss the complexities of the country's startup ecosystem last week. Weak legal frameworks and limited access to financing emerged as key challenges, despite the potential for digital businesses to thrive. The event, organised by the Addis Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations in partnership with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), brought together stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. Limited access to...