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Online marketplace for construction services launched in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 6 – A new online marketplace for construction services and materials has been launched in Kenya.

WaziMart links buyers with suppliers allowing consumers to access hundreds of hardware shops through a one-stop online shop.

Founder and Chief Executive Anthony Maina says the platform will also make it easier and faster for consumers to get quick services – from architects to a plumber to household fixtures – sorted in a few minutes.

“WaziMart solution was motivated by the rapid growth and uptake of internet and mobile phone-based services in Kenya. Users just need to create an account and make an order or request for a service from the WaziMart website,” Maina told Capital FM Business.

Maina is banking on the growing e-commerce industry that is being propelled by increasing wireless internet subscriptions which went up by 25 percent to 33.4 million in 2017.

Value of ICT output increased by 10 percent in 2017 to Sh345.1 billion compared to Sh311.1 billion same period previous year.

“We found a niche in the construction sector where it’s hard for people to get professional help or construction products,” he added.

The platform has so far listed 400 hardware shops within Nairobi and its outskirts and about 350 professionals in the construction sector.

The construction sector grew by 7.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 8.2 per cent growth realized in the first quarter of 2017.

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The deceleration was reflected in the decline in consumption of cement from 1.5 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2017 to 1.4 million tonnes in the quarter under review.

The sector’s growth, albeit slower than that of the corresponding quarter of 2017, was driven by the ongoing public infrastructural projects such as roads and phase two of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) as well as the continued development of buildings.

During the review period, credit to the construction sector increased by 7.5 per cent compared to a growth of 2.6 per cent realized in the first quarter of 2017.

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