Enabling e-commerce in Central Africa :the role of mobile service and policy implications
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
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E-commerce is a key component of the digital economy, allowing buyers and sellers to interact and transact online regardless of time and location. This has the potential to generate significant social and economic benefits, particularly in emerging countries. It can create jobs and stimulate economic activity by encouraging investment and opening up new markets to otherwise isolated rural communities. In ECCAS, retail services are still predominantly traditional and informal. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that around 90% of transactions across Sub-Saharan Africa occur through informal channels. This is partly because of entrenched consumer attitudes and shopping behaviours. Mobile technology is a key driver of e-commerce services in ECCAS. As well as being the primary platform used to access the internet, mobile technology is also facilitating online payments through mobile money, helping to address the challenge of low penetration of bank cards and the risks associated with cash-on-delivery. By the end of 2020, there were 16 live mobile money services in ECCAS, serving nearly 50 million registered accounts. Governments in the sub-region have a significant role to play in implementing policies to address these challenges and stimulate investment in e-commerce services. Fundamentally, governments need to take a holistic approach to developing and implementing policies that underpin e-commerce services, recognizing that e-commerce is impacted by policies and activities in multiple and often disparate sectors, and that e-commerce growth can stimulate productivity and drive efficiency across the economy.
Citation“United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa; United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa (2021). Enabling e-commerce in Central Africa :the role of mobile service and policy implications. Addis Ababa. © UN. ECA,. https://hdl.handle.net/10855/45276”
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