- Okonjo-Iweala tasks Africa on e-commerce
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the newly appointed Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO) has charged the African continent on the use of e-commerce and value addition processes to engender global competitiveness in world trading.
Okonjo-Iweala gave the charge on Tuesday during a virtual interview session anchored by Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the Lagos Economic Summit (Ehingbeti) 2021.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Ehigbeti Summit has as its theme: ”For a Greater Lagos: Setting the tone for the next decade”.
She said that the prospects of e-commerce could drive industralisation in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Okonjo-Iweala said the need to move from the position of constant exporting of raw materials to value addition processes was pertinent, now more than ever.
The new DG, WTO said that more than 90 per cent of pharmaceutical products were imported into Africa, a situation, which provided a big gap and opportunities for manufacturing within the continent.
Okonjo-Iweala urged both state and federal governments to leverage the opportunities inherent in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) not just as a consumer market, but as a manufacturing and exporting nation.
”We have many Small and Medium Enterprises, many of which are women-owned and I would like to see them running on the digital platform.
”We also have to get from the position where we are exporting raw materials to one where we are adding more value and processes.
”For Lagos, Nigeria and the continent, we have to ask ourselves the big question, how do we industrialise Africa? And the agenda 2063 of the African Union looks very much like how we can get there.
Okonjo-Iweala said that besides manufacturing, there were the creative arts, medical services, amongst others.