Greening and advancing e-commerce in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Rwanda
This challenge is in phase: Understand target
How might we offer reliable, affordable and sustainable delivery solutions for MSMEs and e-commerce platforms to enhance customer experience in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda?
The e-commerce sector has witnessed tremendous growth over the last years. Despite positive effects on the economic development of Africa, the uptake in e-commerce also bears the risk of negatively impacting the environment. This presents a challenge at the intersection of digital trade and the green economic transformation. Advancing this transformation requires tailor-made solutions which can be provided by the private sector.
Carbon emissions resulting from reverse logistics and last mile delivery are rising as popularity in e-commerce increases globally. The emergence of a more environmentally conscious consumer presents a unique opportunity that offers lucrative business solutions that not only mitigate environmental effects but also solve societal problems in an effective way.
E-commerce has been growing steadily in Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, and Nigeria over the past few years, driven by factors such as increasing internet penetration, mobile phone usage, and a growing middle class. Each country has its own unique e-commerce landscape, challenges, and opportunities. Kenya has been one of the leaders in East Africa's e-commerce market. The country's well-developed mobile money infrastructure has played a significant role in stimulating online transactions. In fact, high taxation of fossil fuels creates an opening for the adoption of greener and more affordable solutions for last mile delivery. Rwanda's e-commerce landscape is growing steadily, although it may be somewhat smaller compared to other African countries. The government has increasingly taken steps to promote digital innovation and entrepreneurship. However, as in many African countries, Rwanda grapples with challenges in building trust among consumers, improving logistics and delivery systems, and expanding internet. Ghana's e-commerce market has seen significant growth in recent years, with the emergence of various e-commerce platforms. The government has shown interest in supporting the digital economy, and efforts have been made to improve the country's digital infrastructure. Nigeria has one of the most developed e-commerce markets in Africa. The country has a large population and a growing middle class, both of which are driving e-commerce growth. The country however faces challenges such as logistics, payment infrastructure, and consumer trust, but the market is dynamic and evolving.
How might we offer affordable, secure and eco-friendly transport solutions for last mile delivery for MSMEs in a context where pricing of current safe delivery options tends to be inhibitive?
This business opportunity aims at creating cutting-edge affordable, eco-friendly and secure last mile delivery solutions for small businesses that have typically relied on motor bike riders, Public Service Vehicle operators or existing digital taxis. Affordable shipping and last mile delivery solutions would increase sales for both vendors and courier agents while eco-friendly solutions would decrease environmental effects from pollution.
How might we enable delivery firms to easily locate delivery addresses in a context where longer trips mean higher fuel consumption and pollution?
Proper addressing systems are a string enabler of e-commerce and last mile delivery both in densely populated urban areas as well as remote rural areas. Enabling delivery firms to easily locate delivery addresses will provide more time efficiency and enable more trips, less reverse logistics and thus lower pollution and energy consumption.
How might we offer reliable, eco-friendly, and affordable solutions to enhance customer experience with delivery services in a context of rising fuel costs?
The last mile plays a key role in customer experience because this is where the company connects directly with the end consumer through delivery. This business opportunity aims to develop instruments that facilitate the overall improvement of delivery services and the environment, including tracking of deliveries and better navigation, which can increase customer experience and e-commerce revenue.
How might we economically and ecologically improve the efficiency of delivery services of e-commerce products to customers in remote areas through technology?
Technology is an effective driver in solving last mile issues and improving performance. This business opportunity aims to develop and improve technologies in order to facilitate the speed, accuracy and sustainability of delivery services.
Become a participant
Apply for the 22nd lab of tomorrow programme to develop & implement new business solutions for greening and advancing e-commerce in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and Rwanda!
Applications are being evaluated on a rolling basis.
October 6, 2023
Dates for Innovation Sprint:
6-10 November 2023