" ITREALMS: UNCTAD unveils Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessments on 3 countries - ITREALMS

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

UNCTAD unveils Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessments on 3 countries - ITREALMS

Mobile connectivity is fueling e-commerce in Madagascar, Uganda and Zambia, priming them to better engage with the digital economy, assessments by the United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), reports ITREALMS.

Top on the latest report of the prospects that new technologies could boost trade in the three African countries were found in the Madagascar, Uganda and Zambia.
ITREALMS gathered that the three distinct reports demonstrated readiness across seven policy areas in the UNCTAD-led e-Trade for all partnership, were launched at the opening of the first Africa eCommerce Week in Nairobi, Kenya.

According to the UNCTAD Secretary-General, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi recommendations in the reports lay the ground for e-commerce stakeholders to act.

“The benefits of the report recommendations will not be felt unless they are effectively implemented,” Dr. Kituyi said. “This will require integrating specific elements of the recommendations into national development plans, government and private sector initiatives, ICT policies and strategies, regulatory frameworks and development projects,” he said.

Although e-commerce and digital entrepreneurship are snowballing on the continent – more than 21 million Africans shop online – countries are at very different stages of development, the UNCTAD reports show.

For instance, Uganda’s mobile transactions amounted to a staggering $16.3 billion, half the national GDP. But Zambia, where mobile money is gaining momentum, lags since Zambians prefer cash-on-delivery for e-commerce transactions. In Madagascar, only 6% of the population use the Internet and only 4 per cent  have bank accounts. But this means retailers are more likely to accept online payments via mobile phone.

All three countries face challenges in expanding information, communication and technology (ICT) infrastructure, improving trade logistics and access to financing for e-commerce ventures. The reports offer insight into the country-specific elements that could help unlock certain areas of the digital economy.

Remmy Nweke/ED, Ops

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