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Pan African alliance on E-commerce to be launched

afrol News, 13 March - The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is to launch the Pan African Alliance on E-Commerce to intensify cooperation and initiate common projects of interest in African countries, as part of a two-day workshop on Trade Facilitation and Aid for Trade which ends in Addis Ababa today.

The Alliance hopes to establish and encourage the use of “Single Window” across the continent, which is an electronic platform where traders undertake transactions on line, reducing the need for paperwork. Senegal, Tunisia and Mauritius are said to already have such platforms, dramatically reducing the time it takes to clear customs in those countries.

Trade and transport officials from more than 20 countries from across Africa are taking part in the workshop, which was organised by ECA’s African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC).

Representatives from Ministries of trade and transport, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), customs authorities, port authorities, chambers of commerce, transit agents, transport operators, international organisations, and the donor community will examine effective strategies for aid for trade in order to sustain the gains of trade facilitation in Africa.

The Aid for Trade Initiative was launched with the purpose of helping developing countries, the least developed in particular, to build their supply-side capacity and infrastructure needed to take advantage of trade liberalisation and enhance their participation in the world trading system in order to meet their economic development needs.

The objective of the two-day workshop, which ends today were also to exchange views on national trade facilitation programmes and projects; identify ongoing donor support and funding gaps in regional and national trade facilitation programmes and projects as well as priority areas for consideration under the Aid for Trade Initiative (AFT).

The workshop is also to articulate elements for national and regional AFT strategies and identify ongoing donor support, implementation gaps and priorities of supply-side constraints to global trade including economic infrastructure and productive capacities.

The workshop, is also to articulate an African common position on aid for trade strategies.

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