Botswana is currently developing the National e-commerce strategy which will promote the diffusion and use of e-commerce across all sectors of the economy in order to increase efficiency and wealth generation, Kemmonye Keitsile, acting director at Trade and Consumer Affairs has said.
Keitsile was speaking at the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) celebrations held in the capital Gaborone recently.
This year’s theme, “Making Digital Market Places Fairer,” takes over from where last year’s theme “Building a Digital World Consumers Can Trust” left off.
Commenting on the theme, Keitsile said that although digital market simplifies trade, it has on the other hand brought issues and challenges that consumers would not normally face when transacting traditionally or offline such as; Issues relating to cybercrime, misleading advertising and sometimes there have also been cases of online banking fraud to only name a few.
According to a report from Consumer International E-commerce has transformed the way that people shop, giving consumers more choice than ever before. But it has also raised global issues that people can only tackle together. A statement from that report also state that in 2017 global e-commerce sales reached $2.29 trillion, yet with about 70% of consumers worrying that their digital payments are unsafe. Meanwhile, half the world’s population is still offline.
“Half of the people with Internet access choose not to shop online because of a lack of trust. A major contributor to this lack of consumer trust is the fear of incurring unexpected and dishonest costs. These can arise from illegal and fraudulent scams or from unfair, unclear and confusing business practices.”
Hence Keitsile says it is apparent that concerted efforts are needed where all stakeholders take upon themselves to ensure that consumers are not disadvantaged through the use of ICT by providing technological services that are fair, accessible and affordable.