The raging coronavirus pandemic has stepped up and boosting e-commerce as more people shop online all over the world.
But in least developed countries (LDCs) are not adequately prepared to tap the ensuing opportunities, UNCTAD’s rapid eTrade readiness assessments conducted in Benin, Mali and Niger reported.
It found that the three West African countries need far-reaching reforms to seize the benefits of online commerce.
Findings of the assessments released on 30 April during the UNCTAD eWeek reveal that the three nations need better infrastructure and e-commerce strategies, as well as capacity-building and improved access to finance for entrepreneurs.
The assessments funded by Germany as part of its support to UNCTAD’s eTrade for all initiative call for assistance from development partners to help the countries implement medium to long-term measures to grow their e-commerce sectors which, as in many LDCs, are nascent and mostly hinge on the informal sector.
Most payments are still made upon delivery, in cash or via mobile payments, due to the low penetration of financial services and the lack of confidence of consumers, producers and service providers, the assessments note.
Report by UNCTAD