Rwanda: Local e-Commerce Firm Explores Use of USSD for Orders

Local e-commerce company Safi Run is exploring the use of USSD codes as an additional means to compliment the already existing platforms that are mainly based on the internet.

Like many e-commerce businesses in the country, Safi Run has been mostly depending on internet-based platforms like smart-phone applications, websites or online live chats where clients can place their orders.

However, since last month, Safi Run launched its first ever USSD code platform that will be used in cooking gas delivery in various parts of Kigali.

According to the company, the 3040 USSD code will for now be used exclusively for cooking gas, but they will be analyzing the demand to see if more platforms like this have to be used.

"This short code, as for now, is really specified to gas delivery. But as we analyze the demand and our market, if we realize that there is a need for having more platforms that can assist off the internet, we can use them," said Jerry Ndayishimiye, the Head of Marketing at Safi Run.

"However, we also appreciate the fact that the drive of the internet is growing year per year in the country, due to the efforts of the government, for example in deploying fiber optic cables. This assists out businesses in this sector," he added.

Meanwhile, for all the gas deliveries the company is using electric motorbikes, a move that aims to reduce air pollution caused by fossil-fuel-based mobility.

The CEO of Safi Run Rwanda, Tony Adesina said the company will over the next five years invest in various green mobility solutions starting with the use of electric motorbikes to deliver LPG gas.

"We are looking to grow the market. We are starting with Kigali but plan to expand in Musanze and Huye districts," he said.

According to Marie Jose Tuyizere the Safi Run Rwanda Operations Manager, the company has so far hired 50 Rwandan in its gas delivery project.

However, it is expected to employ up to 300 runners (delivery team) in the next three years.

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