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E-commerce, economic recovery and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

Kigali  5/6/2020- E-Commerce is the subject of increased attention from government institutions, international development organisations, entrepreneurs and the public.  Before the COVID-19 crisis, the debate centred on the power of marketplaces and big tech, whether the growing importance of digital technology in trade is a force for good or a menace to be controlled. With the crisis underway, and the projection of an economic downturn to follow, the attention has now shifted to understanding in what way e-commerce can contribute solutions.

In connection with the launch of the ecomConnect platform, the first e-commerce community platform with a special focus on entrepreneurs from developing and least-developed countries, International Trade Center hosted a day of workshops that was held online, this morning.  The focus is on practical recommendations that can set a framework for action in 2020, demonstrate new tools and research that can support entrepreneurial activity in e-commerce.

Hon. Minister Soraya Hakuziyaremye was one of the panelists, and the panel discussed on how e-commerce can promote an exciting and profitable economic future for Africa.

When she was sharing good experiences of the Government of Rwanda regarding the e-commerce environment,  and what would be the expected measures to boost e-commerce in Africa, taking into account the AfCFTA as the overarching framework for regional integration in the continent, Hon. Minister Hakuziyaremye   said that Rwanda has established a dynamic digital ecosystem focused on driving new competitive digital products and services across trade, industry and commerce supported by various proactive rules and regulations.

Similar policy frameworks need to be enacted across Africa to build effective foundations for successful e-commerce environment in Africa, and the review of laws and regulations that impede the development of E-commerce in Africa, as well as putting in place favorable laws and regulations where they do not exist. These laws and regulations should be harmonized at regional and continental levels” She added.

E-commerce is fast becoming a significant channel for international trade and one that can open new possibilities for the economic growth of developing and least developed countries

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