Digital Certificates will boost Trust in eCommerce – CS Owalo

Digital Certificates Kenya

Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Mr. Eliud Owalo has affirmed that eCommerce will play a leading role in business growth. Speaking at the launch of ICT week, the CS did not shy away from the challenges facing eCommerce platforms.

For instance, fraud in eCommerce has been on the rise with a 42% increase reported in 2021.  Indeed, this makes trust critical in growing the sector.

This is a major drawback as the government has earmarked eCommerce to spur entrepreneurship and create job opportunities for the youth.

Digital Certificates and Ids

While the government is educating Kenyans on online entrepreneurship, it is also issuing digital signatures and certificates. This will help in the verification of online entities.

Mr. Owalo said, “However, as we prospect on e-commerce, the challenges with online transactions point to the need to continually educate consumers on challenges that abound, to enhance their confidence in online platforms.

We are now rolling out the National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI) to enhance trust by issuing digital signatures and certificates.

A Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) refers to a system for the creation, storage, and distribution of digital certificates, which are used to verify that a particular public key (online identity) belongs to a certain entity.

A PKI is a technical infrastructure that comprises a Root Certification Authority (RCA) and a Certification Authority (CA), referred to as an Electronic Certification Service Provider (E-CSP) in Kenya’s legal and regulatory framework.

This follows the amendment of the Kenya Information and Communication Act in 2020, making electronic signatures legal.

The government is also addressing the challenge eCommerce platforms face when it comes to last-mile delivery.

Consequently, the government has begun efforts to operationalize a National Addressing System (NASK) for Kenya. NASK will enable technology-aided identification and location of places.

NASK will provide for standardized naming, numbering, and allocation of addresses for all addressable objects such as streets, properties, parcels of land, buildings, and water bodies in Kenya to facilitate identification and location.

Verified online platforms and easy delivery are certainly needed in the Kenyan ecommerce space.

With these efforts and Cyber security advancements, Kenya’s government aims to foster productive use of the Internet.

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