Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and , reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 6/21/2017

Electronic commerce is still in its infancy in Ethiopia and is rarely used.  The Government of Ethiopia (GOE) is preparing a draft national law to govern e-Commerce. 

Ethiopian banks use debit cards and automated teller machines (ATM) but have not yet started issuing credit cards. Most Ethiopians do not have credit cards and internet connections are slow, expensive and unreliable. However, internet service has recently improved as a result of Ethiopia's connection to Seacom's underground/sea fiber optic cable through Djibouti.  In 2016, Ethio Telecom announced the launch of a fourth generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) service in the city of Addis Ababa.

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are also finally interconnected, in May 2016, enabling an ATM cardholder to withdraw funds from any ATM machine of the 18 commercial banks operating in Ethiopia. ET Switch S.C, a shared ownership company with the commercial banks, was created to improve bank-to-bank integration. According to sources at ET Switch S.C., the service is expected to be used by over 5 million ATM card users across the country.


Ethiopian banks have started using primary internet transactions through mobile and card banking services. These technologies followed the launch of centralized, online real-time, electronic banking solutions that have increased customers. There is still a long way to go to improve the digital financial services delivery system. Currently, foreign firms are engaged as technology service providers for various financial inclusion projects of the GOE.
 

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Ethiopia eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce