Kenya will on Dec. 10 host the first UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Africa E-commerce Week to help spur e-commerce growth, organisers said on Tuesday.
UNCTAD said the 5-day event slated for Dec. 10, to Dec. 14, will be jointly organised with the AU and the EU, and implemented in collaboration with partners of the eTrade for All initiative.
“We are at critical juncture — and that it is why UNCTAD decided to have a meeting in Africa, for Africa and by Africa, focused on harnessing the potential of digitalisation and the mobile revolution,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General, Mukhisa Kituyi, ahead of the meeting.
Under the theme “Empowering African Economies in the Digital Era”, the Africa eCommerce Week will examine ways to enhance the ability of African countries to engage in and benefit from e-commerce and the evolving digital economy.
According to UNCTAD, the event will bring together ministers, other senior government representatives, the private sector, civil society and international organisations for a week-long dialogue to identify innovative ways for shaping the African digital economy.
UNCTAD said the agreement on establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, signed in March, is expected to have a positive impact on intra-African trade amid a growing need to discuss the implications of e-commerce for African economies.
Africa already had 21 million online shoppers in 2017, showing the enormous potential of the African e-commerce marketplace, according to UNCTAD.
“Turning this tremendous opportunity into inclusive development requires a massive effort on the part of all of us — in Africa and beyond,” said Kituyi.