21
Sat, Jul

GHANA CHASES $75BN E-COMMENCE MARKET

Business & Economy

Ghana is readying herself to tap in to billions of dollars in revenue which the Economist Intelligence Unit projects that the African e-commerce market can attract.

Ghana is readying herself to tap in to billions of dollars in revenue which the Economist Intelligence Unit projects that the African e-commerce market can attract.

 

According to the EIU, smartphones could help expand Africa’s e-commerce market to reach a projected $75bn within the next decade.

The projection also shows that e-commerce sales in Africa could reach between $50bn and $75bn a year within the next ten years.

 

                                             Postal services

 

E-commerce is growing strongly in Africa, the EIU says, largely on the back of increased smartphone take-up among consumers, who are using mobiles to access a variety of e-commerce shopping platforms.

According to Ghana’s Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, “with extensive national networks and experience in last-mile delivery”, postal services have a unique opportunity to partner in the e-commerce revolution and create new revenue streams.

She was speaking yesterday at the opening of the maiden West African Postal Conference. The three-day event is being held in Accra under the theme “Enhancing Regional Integration Through Digitisation ‒ the Role of the Posts”.

 

                                                 ‘Digitised Ghana’

 

In 2016, the global digital economy was worth $1.5 trillion or 15.5 per cent of global GDP. The global management consulting firm McKinsey estimates that the internet could contribute $300bn to Africa’s GDP by 2025.

Against this background, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful observed, the digital revolution is a remarkable opportunity for Africa and the ECOWAS subregion.

She therefore urged the management of the postal service to take advantage of its wide network across the country and maximise its role as a front office for government services and wider financial services.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful was confident that Ghana is on course to move from the conventional postal services to a postal service enhanced by digitisation, one that will maximise revenue and boost national development.

She assured the administrations of the various postal services that she is ready to work with them to establish a common platform and to collaborate towards the development of postal services across the subregion in such a way that the lives of citizens will be enhanced.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful expressed her pleasure that, in pursuance of the national plan to meet internationally accepted digitisation targets, the present government, through her ministry and Ghana Post, has successfully launched the National Digital Property Addressing System.

This, together with the National ID Card and bank interoperability system, forms the backbone of formalising Ghana’s digital economy, she said.

 

                                                   Efficient delivery

 

The National Digital Property Addressing system is bringing efficiency to service delivery across the country, the minister noted.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful acknowledged that the postal service ‒ one of the world’s oldest industries ‒ is at the crossroads, but said that it is national post and telecommunications providers’ collective duty to explore and transform postal operations across the West African subregion by maximising the opportunities that digitisation offers.

“Under favourable conditions, these technologies can be a powerful instrument, increasing productivity, generating economic growth, encouraging job creation and employability and improving the quality of life of all,” she said.

 

                                                   Ambitious

 

According to the Communications Minister, because the Ghanaian government recognises the enormous benefits of a digital economy, it is embarking on an ambitious infrastructure development programme for the information and communications technology sector.

A national broadband infrastructure and total connectivity for the unserved and underserved are at the heart of this agenda, she said.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful urged Ghana Post to work to transform itself into a competitive, regionally integrated, world-class, customer-focused and ICT-enhanced service provider. This, she said, is fundamental to achieving the vision of a country with more equitable access to the benefits of digital connectivity.

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