Peter Kakaire Presentation on Transformation of Trade and Commerce in Uganda: Harnessing the Digital Revolution. (Lessons From Enhancesys Innovations’ SNOC Platform Deployment).
Peter Kakaire started his trade and investment journey upon graduating from Makerere University 20 years ago as a young business graduate. By then Uganda had under 5000 mobile telecommunication subscribers, today Uganda has a total of 20+ million phones. This forms the platform for todays’ agenda in terms of trade and investment opportunities which the digital revolution provides.
Todate, the exponential growth Uganda’s telecommunications industry has greatly impacted on people’s individual lives in addition to providing a great opportunity for enhancing trade and commerce in the country. One such prospective dividend is transformation of the business processes and nature of investment in Uganda for which the “million dollar” question is: – how can it be harnessed?
The reality is that while the ongoing digital wave has been characterized by the high rate of telecom penetration across the country, with the latest growth happening in the area of internet services which is currently averaging at 32% and rapidly growing every other day. This provides a great opportunity to enhance the business processes in Uganda.
To the contrary, most of the trade and investment processes are still largely analog with manual systems for activities as simple as placing an order by a retailer to a manufacturer or importer, receipting, invoicing, selling and distribution. The growing internet penetration therefore presents a valuable opportunity to create linkages across the trade value chain in Uganda.
However, business digital transformation comes with its own challenges as can be drawn from the experience of Enhancesys Innovations: – a Fintech Company where Kakaire is Director of Operations that is currently engaged in developing and rolling out it’s Sales Network Operations Center (S-NOC™) a modular solution that links importers, manufactures, consumers and retailers onto a single digital platform assisting in digitalization and automation of end-to-end logistics, sales and distribution ecosystem for both individuals and enterprises.
Overcoming the phobia to digitise is one the biggest transformational trials in the country. Having spent the last one and a half years trying to teach people to digitize their manual operations, Kakaire is hopeful that by digitizing business processes, that is where the greatest opportunity lies to improve trade linkages and deliver overall efficiency at both macro and micro economic levels.
That someone can be in Luwero and is able to place an order to a manufacturer in Kampala, from Kotido to the United Kingdom is where the internet has improved opportunities and that is where we all should target space to play. Business process automation is such important milestone which if achieved would greatly improve on trade and investment hygiene within Uganda.
Highlights from previous trade & investment forums in UK particularly have always pinned the question of infrastructure. Currently there is a great opportunity to leverage the improving digital and telecommunications infrastructure in Uganda to leapfrog trade and commerce in general hence improve on the shareholder value for those that intend as well as those that have already invested in Uganda.
Peter Kakaire concluded by calling for collaboration and partnerships among the private sector, Ugandan Government and NGOs to work together with Fintech entities like Enhancesys Innovations to utilise their creative digital platforms and infrastructure to transform business, trade and investment in Uganda.