WTO, World Bank Partner to Promote Digital Trade Across Africa

By : Samira Njoya

Date : lundi, 26 février 2024 13:33

E-commerce growth in Africa is projected to accelerate over the next decade, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. To support and sustain this expansion, there is an urgent need for regulatory frameworks. 

The World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Bank have launched "Digital Trade for Africa," a project aimed at boosting e-commerce growth and job creation on the continent. The announcement came during the WTO's 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi last Saturday. 

The initiative seeks to address limited digital infrastructure and regulatory frameworks hindering Africa's e-commerce potential, according to WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. “Digital trade is one of the fastest growing segments of trade in the world today. Young people and women on the African continent have shown that they are able to take advantage of these opportunities. Africa has only 1 percent share of digitally delivered services trade, but I see it as an opportunity for the continent to grab on,” she stated. 

The project builds on a July 2023 joint WTO-World Bank policy brief that urged the creation of a regulatory environment conducive to digital trade on the continent.

As part of the project, the WTO and World Bank will support select African countries in developing digital infrastructure, including payment systems, and in addressing barriers to digital trade participation.

The aim is to enable Africa to lift its economy through e-commerce in a context where E-commerce platforms in Africa are forecast to reach $59.18 billion in sales by 2027, up from $32.49 billion in 2022, according to a report by digital economy consultancy TechCabal Insights.

Samira Njoya


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