The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) recently released the Africa E-Commerce Agenda, an eight-step action plan to realise e-commerce benefits for the continent. Building on consultations with business leaders and experts, the agenda is a call to action for Africa’s political leaders and the global trade and development communities.
The eight action items are refresh policies, expand connectivity, upgrade logistics, enable e-payments, manage data, grow the technology industry, coach small business and join forces.
The 2019 WEF on Africa is being organised from September 4 to 6 in Cape Town under the theme ‘Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
E-commerce has the potential to create as many as 3 million new jobs in Africa by 2025, according to some researchers, yet e-commerce start-ups face many obstacles, including low consumer digital trust, poor infrastructure and low regional integration, according to an a WEF press release.
“The scale of the challenges should not hold back effort, given that e-commerce could bring jobs for youth, new markets for rural communities, and empower female entrepreneurship, among other benefits,” said Elsie Kanza, head of the regional agenda for Africa and a member of the executive committee.
Each action item identifies challenges and sets goals to help policy-makers navigate the multi-dimension e-commerce landscape. It offers ways to address the challenges – including through public-private collaboration – and calls on the international development community to step up. It suggests how African economies may best use domestic, regional and international policy, given the borderless potential of e-commerce.
The African Union Commission, together with the Economic Commission for Africa and other relevant stakeholders, have been tasked by governments in the region to develop a digital trade and digital economy development strategy by February 2020. (DS)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India