West Africa: UN calls on Senegal, Togo and Burkina Faso to undertake reforms to seize opportunities for e-commerce

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) calls on Senegal, Togo and Burkina Faso to adopt infrastructural and legal reforms to fully seize the opportunities of e-commerce.

In its new study revealed at the regional workshop on e-commerce, organized from 9 to 10 October 2018 in Ouagadougou, UNCTAD, in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ), believes that these reforms represent “a win-win strategy that must be pursued because e-commerce is now a key platform for foreign markets”.

The UNCTAD explains that the Ouagadougou workshop is the first step in the preparation of a regional plan to promote e-commerce. It will help create a digital ecosystem that will house a dedicated e-commerce strategy that is still lacking in Senegal, Togo and Burkina Faso.

For UNCTAD, it is the weakness and high cost of physical infrastructure, as well as the poor integration of logistics services by operators that still make it difficult to deliver consumer goods purchased or sold online. Added to this is the limited nature of competition in online payment, despite the increased dynamism in the development of electronic payment systems.

Essossimna Legzim-Balouki, Togolese Trade Minister, said the UNCTAD evaluation identified “the development of e-commerce as one of the strategic sectors to promote trade and remove barriers”. She stressed that her ministry is “firmly committed to making e-commerce a powerful engine for economic growth, inclusive trade and job creation in Togo”.

Source: Agence Ecofin