January 13, 2020
By: Alhaji Mohamed Wusha
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has approved Sierra Leone for electronic trade assessment in their latest publication eTrade Readiness Assessment of Land-Locked Developing Countries published on the 5th December, 2019. According to the report, Sierra Leone is amongst 13 countries whose request was received for eTrade Readiness Assessment.
This will give an opportunity for Sierra Leone to leverage the potential benefits of e-commerce and have a strong prioritization from government and a greater commitment from development partners to enhance digital readiness and avoid the widening of inequalities.
The assessment will evaluate the e-commerce ecosystems and provide recommendations regarding policies that should be devised to enhance the ability to engage in and benefit from e-commerce. Electronic commerce is one of the main drivers of growth and innovation in the world today. It has significant potential for competition and allows one to grow and thrive in the global market.
Critical inputs will be generated in seven key policy areas to enable countries to better understand the interlinked issues related to the digital economy: E-commerce readiness assessment and strategy formulation, ICT infrastructure and services, Payment solutions, Trade logistics and trade facilitation, Legal and regulatory frameworks, E-commerce skills development and Access to financing.
This will increase the awareness of the relevance of e-commerce among policymakers and lawmakers, consumers and businesses, and to help improve internet access in rural areas, reduce cost to fix mobile-broadband internet, increase facilities for physical delivery of online purchases, use of credit cards, strengthening legal and regulatory frameworks, including protection of consumers online.