Targeted Support to Rwanda to Improve its E-Commerce Environment and Export Facilitation for SMEs 

The Project at A Glance

E-commerce tools have the potential to facilitate the growth of trade to help SMEs identify market opportunities, find customers, understand the requirements and develop strategies for accessing those markets through different e-commerce channels. This project set out to fulfil two main purposes, namely i) Improving the e-commerce environment in Rwanda and ii) Promoting exports of the Rwandan private sector including SMEs. The four key result areas included the development of a framework for an enabling environment for e-commerce; a framework for the Rwanda Business Information (RBI) Platform; Strengthened capacities of the Trade Support Institutions (TSI) in providing packaging related support to SMEs; and sensitized business community on the trading opportunities and benefits of the EPA.

What We Found

Rwanda has been pursuing a forward-looking strategy to support the growth of ICT, e-government, and e-commerce as key components of its economic growth strategy. The study identified certain legal and regulatory bottlenecks, which, if not addressed, will continue to significantly constrain Rwanda’s goods trade competitiveness and limit market access to priority markets. The team recommended that MINICOM, Rwanda’s telecommunications agency, coordinate the new e-commerce policy closely with the SME development policy. The alignment of interventions across institutions is critical for addressing binding constraints limiting SME competitiveness. The team also recommended addressing gaps in the packaging area through the development of comprehensive long-term technical assistance support for exporting SMEs to address technical, knowledge and packaging gaps in a sustainable way.

Our Strategy and Impact

A desktop study was conducted to identify international best practices for promoting e-commerce and identify roles for various stakeholders in implementing effective institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks, including roles for government ministries and agencies, industry groups, and firms. The experts designed a stakeholder map and conducted extensive analysis to identify areas where additional laws and regulations are needed, as well as areas where e-commerce growth could benefit from less regulation and the revision of existing ones. The project also included assisting the development of the capacities of trade support Institutions (RDB, NIRDA, MINICOM) in providing packaging support to SMEs; designing a framework for Rwanda Business Information Plattform and a domestic e-commerce promotional strategy through consultations and desktop research.

Our Core Solutions

E-Commerce and digital trade are an increasingly important way for businesses to transact with customers, creating immense opportunities, facilitate innovation, enhance competitiveness, and improve access in local and global markets. International Economics Consulting provides advice and solutions on some of the latest emerging trends in e-commerce and digital trade. Learn More.

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