Sadc experts have adopted an e-commerce strategy to fast-track intra-regional trade and economic integration.
The e-commerce readiness assessment report, strategy and plan of action for the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc), which has been under review since 2010, is now ready for submission to the information and communication technology ministerial meeting next month in South Africa, according to experts who validated the documents in Mauritius last week.
Experts drawn from across the Sadc community, who adopted the strategy documents during a meeting on April 17 2012, have also recommended the enactment of harmonised legal and regulatory frameworks to support e-commerce development within the sub-region.
They also called for the passing of e-transaction, cyber-criminality, personal data protection, and consumer protection laws and reforms in the banking sector to harmonise laws and regulations for the integration of e-commerce requirements, including e-signature and authentication, mobile-banking e-payment and e-transfer.
The documents that were later endorsed by the Sadc ICT sub-sector committee meeting (April 18 to 19 2012), stress the need for capacity building programmes for e-commerce, support to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
The two-day ICT and trade experts meeting that validated the sub-regional e-commerce strategy and plan of action convened from April 16 to 17 2012 in Balaclava, Mauritius.
It was an initial priority activity towards the implementation of e-Sadc strategy adopted by its ICT ministers in May 2010.
Trilock Dwarka, Mauritius ICT Authority chairperson, noted in a brief to journalists that e-commerce is a key growth sector which holds the promise for job creation, especially for the youth.
The e-commerce strategy will also fast track intra-regional trade, economic integration and socio-economic development, experts agree.