There’s strong correlation between physical addressing and e-commerce growth – CA boss


The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has kicked off a process that would see Kenya have a robust addressing plan that is billed to greatly boost e-commerce and other services.

The CA met stakeholders recently met to discuss the formulation and implementation of the numbering plan that provides for, among other things, the naming and numbering of streets, numbering of properties, buildings and parcels of land.

(TOP: CA DG Francis Wangusi). 

The numbering facilitates the identification and location of such parcels or dwellings on the ground and therefore facilitating provision of numerous services among them modern ICT services such as e-commerce and door-to-door mail delivery.

Speaking during the event, CA Director General Francis Wangusi said that there is evidence of a strong correlation between physical addressing and growth of e-commerce and that its implementation would spur growth of the nascent sub-sector.

‘‘Many countries that have successfully deployed National Addressing Systems, posit a strong correlation between physical addressing and growth of e-commerce. Further, research has shown that over 90% of the world economy is now being driven by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), a factor attributed largely to the rapid adoption of e-commerce,’ said Wangusi.

The Director General added that besides providing opportunities for e-commerce, a robust addressing system would also enhance communication and economic development, as well as support various essential services to citizens and government mandate by respective agencies.

Statistics by the Authority indicate that by 2014, the e-commerce industry in Kenya was estimated at Kshs 4.3 billion.

According to the Courier Industry Association of Kenya (CIAK), the absence of an efficient numbering system has presented numerous challenge especially in the delivery of good and services in Kenya.

‘‘African countries dominate the number of these countries that are lagging behind the rest of the world.  The majority of homes in Kenya do not have a name or number, rarely have a street name and definitely no national level post or zip code. This leads to major social and economic issues that are throttling growth in Kenya,’’ said CIAK chairman Geoffrey Mwove.

The stakeholders drawn from government agencies, the private sector and the county governments deliberated on a number of issues, culminating in the establishment of a multi-stakeholder committee to spearhead the implementation of the addressing system.

Statistics indicate that across the world, around 75% of the population suffers from inconsistent, complicated and poor addressing systems. This means that around 4 billion people are invisible: unable to report crime, get deliveries, aid or simply have a name for where they live.