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E-commerce is the future of local economic growth across many African nations

With East African nations; Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya experiencing consistent growth and development, SHIFT Enterprise Academy is needed more and more each day. Young people in East Africa are responding by aligning themselves with the SHIFT Approach. Last week we were able to register an entire cohort of 15 Enterprisers in only four day!

SHIFT Enterprise Academy is a social enterprise that identifies youth and young adults then helps them develop the mindset to solve problems in their community. Our East African program, "Launching into E-Commerce" is design to take the SHIFT mission to the next level by helping young people launch or expand e-commerce businesses.

SHIFT Enterprise Academy
SHIFT Enterprise Academy, "Launching into E-Commerce"

According to e-commerce giant, Shopify, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach $5 trillion in 2022, and $6 trillion by 2024. Moreover, businesses continue to follow consumer demand online, flocking to ecommerce in record numbers. Further, this digital growth is very predictable on the continent due in part to several countries leaping from strictly agrarian economy to the more globally integrated, digital economy.

graph of African e-commerce growth
eCommerce penetration in Africa to reach 40 percent by 2025.

The International Trade Administration concludes, the logic of growth on this area is pretty much based on technology jumps that do occur within Africa because of historically missing economic infrastructure, such as banks, telecom landlines, etc. Africa is forecast to surpass half a billion ecommerce users by 2025, which will have shown a steady 17% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of online consumers for the market.

Read more from the Rise of E-Commerce in Africa here:

In a recent interview with Business Day Nigeria, Juliet Anammah, Jumia Nigeria Chairperson made it clear Jumia understands this is only the infancy of the digital economy on the continent. She told Business Day, "All said and done, we are the largest e-commerce platform on the continent, and you are on the continent where e-commerce is still 2-5% of total retail, which is a huge upside."

Juliet Anammah, Jumia Nigeria Chairperson
Juliet Anammah, Jumia Nigeria Chairperson

This is why the work we are doing at SHIFT Enterprise Academy with our "Launching into E-Commerce" program is so vital. While we currently target university students living in urban spaces, many of our most promising Enterprisers live in more rural spaces. Some of these spaces still lack infrastructure to truly take advantage of today's opportunities.

This reality fuels our efforts in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, and beyond. We know by planting these seeds today our Enterprisers, their families, and the entire SHIFT ecosystem will reap enormous communal benefits in the future. Learn more about SHIFT Enterprise Academy, our programs, our story, and our team at

Our next cohort of "Launching into E-Commerce" begins July 26. After such a promising response this week, we are opening five more spots for our summer cohort. Young adults living in Africa age 18-30 are encouraged to register. While young adults living in the US and elsewhere at 16-24 are also welcome to register. The SHIFT is here.


Created in 2021 as a pilot program to assist entrepreneurs in Eastern Uganda, "Launching into E-Commerce" is a six week online professional education course. The course introduces young leaders to the SHIFT Approach. The SHIFT Approach is rooted in using the framework of the SHIFT pillars to direct your ideas about success. The SHIFT Pillars are:

  1. Save your money: Basic understanding of budgeting as well as the economic principles of supply and demand

  2. Help your family: Taking a servant leadership approach to solving problems and attaining intergenerational mobility

  3. Imagine your goals: Designing your life over a 90 day and five year period based on your own clearly defined idea of success.

  4. Follow directions: Adhering to a plan by persevering despite any adversity your may face. Developing the mindset of a champion in the 21st century.

  5. Think accurately: Avoiding the distractions that often derail young people or cause them to conform rather than mine their own idea of success


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