De-regulation is Important If Ecommerce is to Thrive in Africa

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last week i spoke at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) , Africa Union (AU) a dn European Union (EU) Event in Nairobi 


The objective of this regional dialogue was  to bring together Ministers, other senior government representatives, the private sector, civil society and international organizations to identify innovative ways for shaping the African digital economy.  There will be High-Level Segments, thematic sessions, various workshops or “labs” on cutting-edge technologies in collaboration with business; as well as a space for external public and private partners to convene and network. The overall theme of the event is “Empowering African economies in the digital era”.



I was on the round table CEO’s in the ecomerce space , developing a framework to document to share with African ministers on how to boost ecommerce in their respective countries /

I spoke on the  panel of High-level Dialogue on Trade and the Digital Economy in Africa alongside 

  • Mukhisa Kituyi
    Secretary General of UNCTAD
  • Stephen Karingi
    Director, Regional integration and Trade
    UN Economic Commission for Africa
  • Andrus Ansip
    European Commissioner for Digital Single Market and Vice President of the European Commission
    European Union



The session covered  some of the following topics:

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  1. What trade policies can be used to promote intra-African trade and digital development in Africa? What are the pre-conditions for ensuring that such trade benefits all the countries involved?

  2. Is the inclusion of e-commerce specific provisions in a free trade agreement necessary for participating countries to benefit from new opportunities created by the digital transformation of economies? What obstacles would these provisions remove?

  3. Considering the fact that so far e-commerce has not been included in many FTAs involving African countries the experience of other regions may be examined as an opportunity for cross-regional sharing of experiences.

  4. To what extent would the AfCFTA bring about coherence in e-commerce related rules and would this be beneficial for African economies?



My thoughts in general on the summit 

It is important for deregulation especially in  the payment and fintech space 

it is important Africa government  listen to private sector actors as they craft policies