The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) called upon Senegal, Togo and Burkina Faso to undertake infrastructure and legal reforms to benefit from the opportunities presented by e-commerce.

The UNCTAD in collaboration with ECOWAS estimates that the reforms represent “a win-win strategy that should be pursued because E-commerce is now a key tool to foreign markets”.

The UNCTAD explained the importance of drafting a regional plan to promote E-commerce and build a digital ecosystem that will host a dedicated E-commerce strategy which Senegal, Togo and Burkina Faso still lack.

In those countries, the delivery of goods and services bought online is still difficult and faces several obstacles embodied by the poor and expensive infrastructure, as well as the bad integration of logistics services by operators. There is also limited competition in online payment solutions despite the increased dynamism in the development of electronic payment systems.

Essossimna Legzim-Balouki, Togo’s trade minister, indicates that the UNCTAD’s review identified “the development of E-commerce as one of the key sectors to promote trade and eliminate barriers”.  She also explains that her ministry is “resolutely determined to make E-commerce a powerful driver for economic growth, inclusive trade and job creation in Togo”.