The emergence of the internet has changed how people, companies and even countries communicate, trade, relate, search for and manage information, deal with payments, and manage data. The internet has also become a bridge between enterprises in small, isolated countries and large audiences across the World, allowing the first to sell their products and services to customers on the other side of the World. The benefits of the internet are not only limited to external trade but are also prominent for spurring domestic markets. International Economics conducted a short study to assess the status of electronic commerce in Seychelles, with a specific focus on the gender dimension.
What We Found
Ensuring that the benefits of E-commerce reach everyone will require bridging the existing digital divide between men and women. On average, women use the internet 15% less than men, which translates in a more significant risk of women being left even further behind economically and socially. E-commerce can also remove some of the negative incentives that women-led businesses face when transacting face-to-face, such as gender-based biases and discrimination from officials. E-commerce in Seychelles is still in the developing phase. In terms of digital connectivity, accessible, affordable and reliable internet connection is the basis for E-Commerce. In Seychelles, 74% of the population has access to the internet, distributed between mobile phone connectivity (44% of the total population) and laptop/desktop connectivity (54.9% of the total population). This is well above Africa’s (28%) and the World’s (50%) internet penetration rates. The affordability of the mobile data is key to the country’s high access rate. Low costs of data in the country have led to higher adoption of the internet. The development of financial institutions is critical to the development of an electronic marketplace. In addition to the lack of payment solutions, the lack of understanding and awareness of E-commerce, its challenges as well as potential benefits, and necessary skills might pose a hindrance to overall E-commerce development.
Our Strategy and Impact
IEC’s approach included an assessment of Seychelle’s overall e-commerce enabling environment, covering crucial areas such as policy and regulations around ICT, digital and physical connectivity in the island country as well as private sector development from a gender-specific approach. E-commerce has the potential to promote greater international trade and contribute to the country’s international development by improving access to markets and communities that would be otherwise inaccessible. A series of recommendations were provided for better adoption and utilisation of e-commerce among women in Seychelles. The key messages were to strengthen the country’s youth, promote local payment solutions, improve last-mile delivery, streamline customs procedures and review existing laws relevant to e-commerce.
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 such as paperless trading, e-payments, online consumer protection and data protection. We assist governments and businesses worldwide in creating an enabling environment for e-commerce and digital trade, to maximise economic growth and development. Learn More.