The East African Business Council (EABC) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have launched an online platform designed to boost the competitive edge of East African small businesses, called My East African Soko or Myeasoko.
The platform supports small businesses in the region in their recovery from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, builds resilience in light of the War in Ukraine and drives growth using digital technologies.
Traders and service providers from across the region can interact on the platform’s web portal or mobile application to access business information, market their products online, attract international buyers and expand their trade opportunities.
At the launch event, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director at the International Trade Centre, said: “My East African Soko will re-introduce small businesses into global marketplaces, enable them to join regional value chains and give them an opportunity to scale up.”
Additional services include an integrated e-marketplace, a business listings portal and a training academy. Small businesses will also have access to cross-border trade information, documents related to the African Continental Free Trade Area and procedures for pre-selected shipments of goods to any of the countries identified under the Guided Trade Initiative.
The integrated mobile app notification system ensures continued interaction between small businesses and EABC for efficient last mile delivery, online payment, tracking product delivery, and 24hr customer support using an integrated chat support system and social media to complement the portal.
“EABC has leveraged digital technologies and has developed www.myeasoko.com to support the EAC’s economic recovery, build resilience and drive future growth for small businesses, especially for youth and women,” said John Bosco Kalisa, Executive Director, East African Business Council. “Small businesses stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship, sustain economic growth and account for 60% jobs in the EAC.”