Survey results show the Internet is not an essential part of the economic infrastructure in Sierra L

The internet is a fact of international business life and Sierra Leonean businesses could benefit enormously from an e-presence. Yet a recent Insight survey on the e-readiness of Sierra Leone’s business sector, showed that the internet is not yet an essential part of the economic infrastructure in Sierra Leone, with almost 45% of business respondents admitting that they do not have a website.

The development of e-commerce in Sierra Leone has admittedly been hobbled by the limitations of our financial, legal and physical infrastructure. But even if a firm’s goods and services don’t lend themselves to online purchases, a business website offers other useful ways of connecting with customers – online booking, promotions, newsletters and

24/7 two-way communication to name just a few. We asked Sierra Leonean businesses what was keeping them from maximising the value of commercial connectivity?

The two most common reasons given by respondents is that e-commerce does not fit with their business model (37%) and that Sierra Leone’s telecoms and tech infrastructure isn’t ready for e-commerce (37%). Almost 32% said that e-commerce did not fit with their goods and services.

Twenty-six percent said that unreliable access to the internet would prevent them from maintaining their website. Lack of technical know-how and the high costs of building and maintaining a website are an impediment to 21%. Almost 16% hadn’t got round to building a business website, but it was in their plans.

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