Botswana intros new UN-backed e-commerce strategy
Botswana’s government has partnered with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to launch a fresh e-commerce strategy for the country.
Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Mmusi Kgafela said, “Botswana stands to benefit considerably from the strategy. E-commerce offers countries with small populations such as Botswana opportunities to tap into larger developed markets and promote exports.”
Kgafela said the objectives with the strategy are to eliminate barriers for businesses and address issues of low competitiveness and productivity.
“The convergence of the internet with commerce has given rise to the rapid growth of e-commerce among developed and developing countries alike. In addition, in the past year, e-commerce has played an important role in reducing the infection rates and risks to life caused by the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic and supporting the post-pandemic economic recovery.”
UNCTAD’s Deputy Secretary General, Isabelle Durant said the strategy is aimed at leveraging Botswana’s strengths while tackling the bottlenecks and challenges that impede the expansion of e-commerce in the country.
EU Ambassador to Botswana, Jan Sadek said through the strategy, Botswana will be able to assist SMMEs in gaining access to the global market. “COVID-19 has increased the uptake of e-commerce, so by developing this strategy Botswana will be able to implement an e-commerce trading platform.”
He added that the country’s well-developed legal and regulatory environment for electronic payments, as well as its robust ICT and e-commerce-related laws in helping to create an environment favourable to e-commerce development.
Botswana has eight internet domain zones that are meant to meet an increased demand for online presence within government and the private sector. These zones include ac.bw org.bw net.bw co.bw gov.bw shop.bw agric.bw and me.bw.
The strategy is also expected to support the Southern African country’s Vision 2036, its plan to transform itself from an upper middle income country to a high income country by 2036 by driving development of ICT and related skills.