The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Monday gave an assessment of Member States’ readiness for e-commerce in a report that lists the preconditions for the growth and development of e-commerce within and among the Member States.
The regional e-commerce strategy development project was launched in October 2021 by the ECOWAS Commission and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The project aims to elaborate a roadmap for the development of e-commerce with the aim of using technology to accelerate structural change and development, and to promote regional integration, including economic diversification, job creation and promoting more inclusive business activities in the ECOWAS area.
According to ECOWAS, in prelude to the launch of the strategy, the UNCTAD conducted an assessment of ECOWAS eTrade Ready preparedness of ECOWAS member states, following the UNCTAD eTrade Ready Methodology, a design methodology used to identify eCommerce development challenges in developing countries, not least developed countries.
“It assesses the state of e-commerce readiness in countries or regions on the basis of seven policy areas namely; e-commerce preparation and strategy formulation; infrastructure and ICT services; facilitating trade and logistics; legal and regulatory framework; payment solutions; skill development; and access to funding.”
According to the ECOWAS Member States’ E-commerce Readiness Report, most member states have placed digitalisation at the heart of their economic growth efforts, saying in that regard, adopted digitalisation and initiated the implementation of strategies and policies aimed at translating that ambition into results.
“Unfortunately, action still needs to be taken to expand this digitisation effort and channel it into activities conducive to the promotion of e-commerce.”