DOT-COM Activity: Africa region - PEOPLink CatGen
Country: Africa Region
Funder(s): Leland Initiative
Short Description: dot-ORG is working with PEOPLink to support a large e-commerce project which will introduce digital literacy to 20 business networks and bring 500 small businesses into the global marketplace.
Phase/Type of Activity: Buy-in or Incremental Funding Status: Completed
Start date: April 15, 2003 End Date: September 15, 2005
Person(s) to contact
Christopher Light , Sr. Program Officer
dot-ORG , Academy for Educational Development
Tel: 202 884-8762
Full Description: dot-ORG, funded by Leland Initiative, is working with PEOPLink to support a large e-commerce project called the CatGen Alliance, which will introduce digital literacy to 20 business networks with a total of at least 2,000 members and bring 500 small businesses into the global marketplace. Over the next eighteen months, the CatGen Alliance will concentrate on building e-commerce and development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa using CatGen technology and business management know-how. The USAID contribution, via dot-ORG, to the CatGen Alliance will cover 50% of one staff persons time and three on-site interventions/workshops in Africa.
PEOPLink created the CatGen Alliance, a varied and disparate group of organizations that are linked by their commitment to using technology to integrate businesswomen and men into the emerging global marketplace. Actual or potential members of the CatGen Alliance include eBay, International Federation for Alternative Trade, G77 Chambers of Commerce, GlobalSources.com (most successful global trade portal), Trade Point Federation, International Chambers of Commerce, Geek Corps, the International Finance Corporation, UNECA, and the Country Gateways in seven nations.
Update 1: (June 2004)
The CatGen Alliance has established relationships with the International Federation for Alternative Trade, G77 Chambers of Commerce, Trade Point Federation (both global and regional for Africa), the International Finance Corporation, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Oracle, and the World Information Technology and Services Alliance. Workshops have been held in Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa.
Update 2: January-March 2005
Phase II of the project will expand the project's duration for six months in order to implement an open source model in Kenya. Two or three Kenyan IT firms will be trained on providing CatGen based e-commerce services to Kenyan SMEs.
Results: August 2005
- Exposed networks of African SMEs in Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mali, South Africa and Kenya for the first time to the potential of e-commerce for trade in the future and guided 11 SMEs in 7 African countries to create their own on- line catalogs
- Guided an association of artisan groups in Rwanda to create the nations first fully transactional e-commerce site at www.modishandicrafts.com and two crafts enterprises in Mali to create and maintain their own web catalogs·
- Collaborated with www.hourglass-group.com, that provides a range of e- commerce services to SMEs in Ghana, on starting a marketplace for Ghanaian crafts.
- Made arrangements to offer CatGen catalogs to the 800-1600 West African enterprises participating in www.expoafrica2005.com in September of 2005 in Atlanta.
- Launched the first regional marketplace for Cooperation for Free Trade in Africa(COFTA) at www.catgen.com/cofta with more than 300 crafts from 9 groups initially but with active plans to increase to 2000 products from the 36 members.
- Trained a youth group from Kibera, the largest slum in East Africa, to create catalogs of students in order to produce an affordable yearbooks for poor schools while enlightening the students on the potential of publishing on the Internet.
- Established signed MOUs with the leading ISPs of Kenya (www.KenyaWeb.com, www.Wananchi.com, www.SkyWeb.com, and www.Afripay.net) to distribute CatGen.
See the final report for more details and lessons learned.
Development Sector(s): Enterprise Development, Information Technology, Trade and Investment
Links and Files:
- CATGEN: http://www.catgen.com/catgencom/EN/
From the CatGen web site: "CatGen is an award-winning, e-commerce platform enabling you to create and maintain your own fully functional web catalog (hosted on our server)."
- Final Report for Project on Catalyzing E-commerce for SMEs in Africa
Final Report for the PEOPLink/CATGEN project undertaken within the ACCESS Award. Submitted in August 2005.