By Magdalene Mukami
A new initiative set up to help developing countries make an estimated $22 trillion from e-commerce was launched Monday at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Kenya.
Nairobi is currently hosting the week-long event which has brought together over 8,000 delegates from around the globe.
Speaking during the launch of the initiative Mukhisa Kituyi, secretary general of UNCTAD, said it was vital for developing countries to fully utilize e-commerce opportunities as research data show a 38 percent increase in how much the sector is worth compared to the same figure for 2013.
“A huge divide is opening between countries that are exploiting those opportunities and those that are not.
“I am delighted by this collaboration with our partners, which finally gives the global community an effective platform for helping developing countries access and benefit from e-commerce,” Kituyi told the conference, adding that the new initiative will be called ‘eTrade for All’.
According to the United Nations ‘eTrade for All’ will help developing countries to navigate more easily the supply of technical and financial cooperation from the international community.
Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta said that “Africa needs partnership and not patronage”.
Kenyatta, who was speaking on the second day of the conference, asked the UN to work directly with governments, local leaders and civil society organizations to solve key challenges that Africa is facing.
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