Tuesday, 25 August 2015

E-mail: connecting DRC businesses nationally or internationally?

E-mail is an advantage for business people in the DRC, as it allows them to connect with international suppliers and clients.  It is also an advantage for doing business within the DRC, as it allows communications to regions where it is difficult or dangerous to visit.  Which advantage is stronger?

Table: Level and ease of business transactions across the DRC, for companies who don't use and do use e-mails.
Data: http://www.enterprisesurveys.org/

The first row of the table shows the average percentage of supplies that come from domestic sources, for companies that use e-mail and those that don't.  E-mail users have far fewer supplies from domestic sources than email non-users.  The second row shows the percentage of goods that are transported to consumers by river (which can take goods to less accessible parts of the DRC).  E-mail users transport fewer goods by river than e-mail non-users.  The third row shows the percentage of female ownership of companies.  Both men and women are subject to high levels of sexual and non-sexual violence in the East of the country, but women outside of the region might be more adverse to travelling there if the level is higher for them or if they are more aware of it.  Female ownership is lower among e-mail users than e-mail non-users.

There is a lot missing from this analysis, but on the surface of it, e-mail use seems to be more of a solution to problems with international business rather than domestic business in the DRC.

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