E-Commerce commences in Sudan

The estimates as recent as 1st July 2016 revealed that there are 10,886,813 Internet users in Sudan. This is 26.4% of the population, which is quite high compared to many developing countries. ( Ref: http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/sudan/). However, the level of e-commerce is not commensurate with the users. There are technological and social hindrances for the growth of e-commerce in Sudan. Yet interestingly, the other day I found a ‘Garage Sales’ page in social media where one can buy and sell household items and rent apartments as well. Mobile cellular subscriptions in Sudan are as high as 72.2%, which makes it favourable for mobile banking. Zain Sudan has launched the country’s first ever mobile financial service, called ‘Hassa’, in partnership with the Bank of Khartoum. The easy, instant and secure service allows Zain customers in Sudan to complete a wide range of financial transactions and operations, including money transfers, paying bills and ATM cash withdrawals without a bank account. Hassa should get the first-mover advantage and scale to greater heights with millions of users.
Mishwar is the first transportation network company in Sudan which operates with mobile Apps. To avail the service of Mishwar one has to download the App. This allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request, which the software program then automatically sends to the Mishwar driver nearest to the customer, alerting the driver to the location of the consumer. I have availed of Mishwar services at least twice. The drivers use their own personal cars. The App automatically calculates the fare and both the customer and driver get to know. Interestingly the Drivers of Mishwar have never met the promoters of the company. They have been appointed on line.They pay through their mobile. The Managers of Mishwar must implement regulations for the Mishwar drivers and their vehicles.Some of the cars are as bad as the taxis.The Drivers must get daily trip targets and customers should rate their services on line. When all these criteria are in place, we can certify Mishwar to have brought ‘Uberisation’ in Sudan.

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