800 - Commerce

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Satisfaction of Wants

The meaning and importance of commerce: growth of commerce as a result of the need to provide the basic necessities of life: development of specialization and its significance in the life of an individual; and of the community.

Production and its Classification

Concepts of direct and indirect production. Type of occupations; extractive, constructive manufacturing and tertiary services.


Demand for goods and services arising from choice. The role of the consumer. The effect of consumer spending on production.

Trade and Chain of Distribution

(a) Home Trade

The distinction between wholesale and retail trade. Types of wholesalers and their services to teh manufacturer, retailer and the society. Different types of retail trade; small scale trade, e.g. roadside traders, hawkers, itinerant, the market, multiple trader, small retail shops. Large scale retail trade.

(b) Documents Used in Home Trade

Inquiry, quotation, order, local-purchase order, invoice, delivery and consignment notes, credit note, debit note, statement of account and receipts.

(c) International Trade

General introduction and understanding of the purpose of international trade.

Business Units and Their Organization

Sole proprietorship; partnerships: private and public limited liability companies, consumer cooperatives societies, marketing boards, parastatal bodies.

Government Involvement

The participation of the government in the range of commercial activities, consumer protection, trade licenses, municipal state and inter-states enterprises. Distinction between free and state enterprises.

Aids to Trade

(a) Transport

The importance of transport as a means of developing the trade. Major types of transport available in East Africa - road, rail, pipe line, inland, air, water and sea transport. Warehousing and containerization.

(b) Banking and Finance

Need for means of exchange and a measure of value. Development of money and its amjor functions. Different types of banks and their services, Central Bank, Commercial Bank, Co-operative and Development Banks, Savings Banks, Post Office Savings Bank.

(c) Insurance

Common insurance terms such as policy, proposal, premium, cover, insurable and unisurable risks, principles of insurance: contribution, utmost good faith, indemnity insurance interest. The major types of insurance protection and coverage available for the individual and the business world - fire, motor accident, theft and burglary, life. A simple outline of the produce in effecting an insurance policy.

(d) Sale Promotion

Advertising: the role of advertising in commerce, informative and persuasive advertising; their differences. Different media of advertising available in East Africa and their relative effectiveness. Advantages and disadvantages of advertising to both consumer and seller. Trade fairs and exhibitions as agents of sale promotion.

(e) Communication

The importance of communication. The importance of speed and accuracy in communication. Communication facilities provided by the Post Office, e.g. telephones, telegrams, letters, business postcards, and telex services, etc.

Some Important Calculations

Simple computations of gross and net profits. The concept of the markup. Gross and net profit in relation to cost price and selling price. The relationship between gross profit, net profit, the rate of turnover and performance of the business.