UNCTAD recommendations to boost e-commerce in Senegal

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) gave some effective strategies to boost e-commerce in Senegal in a report titled “Rapid assessment of Senegal’s e-commerce readiness»

The recommendations concern ICT Infrastructure and Services, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation, Payment Solutions and Legal Framework.

UNCTAD recommends structuring the dialogue of e-commerce operators and federating them as a professional association representing specific bodies in the sector. Develop a national e-commerce strategy, including aplan for the penetration of electronic commerce in the various subsectors of the economy. Clearly define the roles and contributions of each governmental and quasi-public entity to the development of the e-commerce ecosystem. Strengthen GTCE’s capabilities and eventually bring it closer to CNN to give greater visibility to e-commerce in the PPD.

ICT infrastructure and services

`Update the Telecommunications Code. Define a national plan for high and very high speed development and distribution. Encourage public and private infrastructure sharing to improve Internet access. Reinforce the transparency of telecommunications operators in the area of ​​Internet access prices and regulate promotions offered by operators. Review the tax regime in the telecommunications sector. Continue the ongoing digitalization in public administration and strengthen commitment to service performance and inter-institutional cooperation.

Trade logistics and trade facilitation

Encourage the establishment of innovative partnerships between La Poste and private actors to establish relay points that are accessible and open to logistics operators. Continue the national addressing project. Facilitate the procedures for the removal of the goods, in accordance with art. 7 pair 8 of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. Deepen the proposal for a tax exemption (de minimis) regime to facilitate e-commerce. Stimulate the formalization of players and intensify the repression of fraud to discourage unfair competition and build trust in digital.

payment solutions

Strengthen cooperation between UEMOA and BCEAO to establish the framework for interoperability of financial services. Update the regulatory framework governing the use of the Unstructured Supplemental Service (USSD) dedicated channel by non-telephone payment solution providers wishing to offer financial services using mobile telephony. Update the regulatory framework for payment platforms to ensure better security of transactions, sharing of payment infrastructures and stakeholder cooperation.

Legal and regulatory framework

Expand the regulatory framework to increase trust in digital technology, focusing on cracking down on fraud and resolving disputes, on effective withdrawal deadlines, on ensuring the quality of services offered by Internet platforms. Update the regulatory system for the processing of personal data in accordance with the new international regulatory framework.

Assess the gap between the skills required in the field of the digital economy and the training courses available, in order to define profiles adapted to the needs of the market and in particular the e-commerce sector. List and better supervise all training courses and programs developed by the various training centers. Involve professional organizations more in continuing education, for example, by grouping actors around specialized training. Promote the alternation between training and work with high technological content.

Strengthen the dialogue between the BCEAO, the Government, technological start-ups and banks, for a common definition of needs in the field of the digital economy and, in particular, electronic commerce, in order to stimulate investments for the benefit of VSMEs that evolve digitally in Senegal. Strengthen the capabilities of ICT-based project promoters in developing sound business plans to increase the chances of obtaining funding. Reinforce and monitor the implementation of the recently created public seed funding scheme for technological start-ups and provide funding lines for the professionalization of players operating in electronic commerce. Promote private investment opportunities through incentives for the establishment of networks of “Business Angels” and venture capital companies.

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