WTO directs Africa to embrace digital technology for trade | The Guardian Nigeria News

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To achieve the goal of economic integration and sustainable development on the continent as enshrined in Africa’s Agenda 2063 of “The Africa We Want”, the World Trade Organization (WTO) emphasized the need to embrace digital technology for trade in Africa.

At the 2022 WTO Public Forum recently held in Geneva, Switzerland, Senior Advisor, Dynamics Impact Advisory (DIA), Gbemisola Osadua, spoke on leveraging technology and digital innovation to advance Africa’s trade and sustainable development agenda during the working session.

In her address to the session, the President of Borderless Trade Network (BTN), Dr. Olori Boye-Ajayi, specifically highlighted the particular challenges that women face when trading on the continent with regards to trade. exploiting the potential of digital innovations.

She shared examples of BTN’s collaborative efforts with various agencies to support women and facilitate trade and business for them by leveraging technology. She highlighted the need to create equitable opportunities for women in trade, in terms of access to digital tools.

Also speaking, the CEO of Supply Chain Africa (SCA), Adebayo Adeleke, highlighted Africa’s disjointed and fragmented economic and trade situation post-COVID.

He explained how SCA, a consolidating platform, shed light on all that is good for supply chain systems in Africa and showcased the stories of innovative Africans.

He also highlighted the particularities of Africa and how these distinguish the continent’s operations and supply systems.

For his part, the head of the Trade Logistics Branch of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Jan Hoffmann, explained that technological progress will be faster in the future than it is. currently.

He shared examples of current multilateral approaches to embracing digital innovation, such as UNCTAD’s requirement that each country’s customs administration publishes its rules, rights and procedures.

The session also featured the Chief of Staff of the WTO, Dr Bright Okogu, who reiterated the need for an African approach that goes beyond just talking about the potential to take ambitious action.

He highlighted the inalienable role of digital innovation and technology in Africa’s trade and development, adding that the private sectors and SMEs are the drivers of the African economy, not the government.

Professor of WTO Law and Practice and Senior Advisor to the WTO, Professor Gabrielle Marceau, in her response to a question from a participant in the session, explained the need to foster partnerships between public sectors and private as multiparty. approach to address the challenges of digital trade in Africa.

She cited an example of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s approach to engaging the private sector when she took office as Director-General of the WTO to work together to facilitate trade for a rapid recovery from COVID-19. and other pressing challenges facing the multilateral trading system.

Other panelists spoke about the importance of the supply chain in boosting trade and commerce, the need to build the capacity of African MSMEs, and the need to fund the actions needed for the continent to fully harness the youth digital and technological innovations to drive Africa. business and economic development program.

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