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Friday, January 12, 2007

HOW CAN E-COMMERCE ALLEVIATE POVERTY?

I have written or read about E-commerce but this is the first time, I can across E-commerce and Poverty
Can E-commerce alleviate Poverty, this is the subject of a recent posting at http://www.krooman.com/?p=11 where Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is defined as the use of the internet and web to transact business. More formally, digitally enabled commercial transactions between and among organizations and individuals. Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce) has almost overnight become the dominant on-line activity. Equally quickly it has become a significant element in commercial activities globally, particularly in the developed countries where suitable infrastructure support is available. Some types of e-commerce were provided. The article mentioned e-commerce as one of ICT tools and it point that evidence supports that claim that ICT can reduce poverty. E-commerce especially can contribute to wealth creation. Practical examples are given about how E-commerce can reduce poverty but it points out these fruits can be enjoyed only if some enabling conditions are put in place.
It also looks at some threat of E-commerce to local economy.
The paper concludes by saying "In a short space of time, e-commerce has been a stunning technological success. Its business success though has been limited. Nonetheless, e-commerce has implications for the firm and industry value chains, industry structure and global business strategy. It also calls for a multidisciplinary approach.
Questions to do with poverty alleviation and economic growth have to be re-examined in light of these new developments. Development and poverty eradiation are stages that countries go through. The argument has been made that ICTs can help countries leap-frog some of these stages. For, example an economy needs a pool of skill people to be economic agents. Such pool is attained through an educational system design as such. Depending on the skills, it may take 10-20 years to build such pool. Today, with e-learning and its associated technologies, such skills can be attained in half the time. It has also been argued that most of the skills required in the information economy are largely self taught as the pace of change is so quick. Multimedia technology makes it easier for people to learn these skills.

While e-commerce provides the potential to eradicate poverty through income generation, it must be accompanied by a set of factors not least information literacy skills.If these factors are present and small businesses in the poor countries reengineer their processes, the future can only be brighter."

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