Digital Commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa is flourishing but more developments are still required

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) published a report titled the ‘US trade and investment with Sub-Saharan Africa: recent developments’ which has a section dedicated to the digital economy in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It outlines the rapid expansion of digital services in the region and pinpoints areas where support is required to facilitate digital transformation in local economies. The report highlights how Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce markets. The SSA region is embracing technologies such as computing, financial technology (fintech), digital video streaming, and Internet of things (IoT) to develop and implement smart city technologies such as drone delivery. Yet, the report argues some local policies can encumber further development in the digital economy; such as restrictions on the cross-border transfer of data, restrictions on obtaining government, complex financial and telecom regulations, and high data costs for streaming video content.