East African businesses adopt digital solutions amid covid-19
Saturday, February 6, 2021
East African businesses adopt digital solutions amid covid-19

The Exchange – Africa Investment Gate

By: Kawira Mutisya

Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) in the East African region are adopting Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software technologies, in a bid to improve service provision to businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This follows a two-day training by the East African Business Council (EABC) in partnership with GIZ- Business Scouts for Development and the Federation of German Industries (BDI), on using a CRM software set to improve the capacity of BMOs in processing data and communicating effectively with members of the business community.

Speaking during the opening session of the training, EABC CEO Dr. Peter Mathuki urged East African companies to adopt digital business models to improve business resilience and continuity amid the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has brought forth opportunities in e-commerce, which have significantly scaled down the cost of doing business by automating manual office operations and reducing human interaction hence increasing productivity and efficiency,” he said.

Dr. Mathuki also noted that the pandemic demands BMOs to be more proactive in giving feedback and analyzing data from members to inform policy advocacy initiatives such as the elimination of COVID-19 related Non-Tariff Barriers, among others.

In his remarks, Mr. Hamad Hamad, Executive Director of Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) said, “It is critical for businesses to adopt digital tools to improve efficiency and maximize on returns. EAC Partner States Governments also need to adopt e-government solutions to give value to citizens.”

This happens as the African Development Bank projects that the region is set to recover to 3.7 percent in the baseline scenario and 2.8 percent in the worst-case scenario, under the assumption that COVID-19 would be contained in the short-to-medium term (AfDB East Africa Economic Outlook, 2020.)

The pandemic has disrupted the global supply chain impacting trade in goods and services in the EAC.

EABC in partnership with the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and GIZ- Business Scouts for Development is committed to take lead in managing the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to support BMOs in the EAC region to improve communication with their members and stakeholder.