UNCTAD rapid e-trade readiness assessment: Tanzania prepares to reap benefits of digital economy

According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) newly published rapid e-trade readiness assessment; Tanzania’s growing economy and timely developing innovation ecosystem qualifies the country to be integrated into the global digital economy. The assessment further unveiled Tanzania’s potential to become a top contender in e-trade in East Africa, especially in mobile finance and digital payment fronts. Yet, the absence of a national e-commerce strategy is hindering the country from moving forward. To this aim, the UNCTAD assessment recommends several policy actions for the Tanzanian e-commerce sector to flourish including crafting a national e-commerce strategy, enhancing information, communications and technology (ICT) infrastructure, creating a conducive legislative climate, and providing incentives for start-ups. ‘The coronavirus crisis has brought to the fore the value of e-commerce and digital solutions in enabling economic activities and broadening options for consumers in times of lockdowns. E-commerce can help maintain trade flows, an important part of tackling the fallout from the crisis, especially in least developed countries.’ stated UNCTAD technology and logistics division director Shamika N. Sirimanne.