An African Digital Structural Transformation

16 April 2018
10:00 - 11:30 hrs., Room XXVI
, Switzerland

Recognising the rapid but uneven development of digital commerce, as well as a range of unanticipated policy questions, this session aims to explore the implications for Africa’s long-term development in the context of the emerging global digital economy.

A key objective of this session is to go beyond simple pronouncements of the benefits of digital commerce and examine both challenges and opportunities in relation to trade policy and development in Africa, particularly in respect to the continental integration agenda, industrialisation, structural transformation and economic diversification. This session focuses on the scope for digital industrial policies for Africa to achieve its own digital structural transformation.

Key policy issues that the session may take up would include:
• Locating e-commerce in wider processes of digital transformation
• Implications of the digital divide and global distribution of e-commerce
• Policy interventions that promote inclusive digital trade
• Policy frameworks for digital upgrading, e-commerce readiness and industrialisation in Africa

Dr. Shamel Azmeh, Assistant Professor, University of Bath, UK
Dr. Laura Mann, Assistant Professor, LSE, UK
Mr. Parminder Jeet Singh, Executive Director, IT for Change, Bangalore, India
H.E. Dr. François Xavier Ngarambe, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Rwanda to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva

Mr. Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, UNCTAD 

H.E. Mr. Xavier Carim, Ambassador, South African Permanent Mission to the WTO, Geneva


For more information, please see:

The Digital Trade Agenda and Africa, by Shamel Azmeh and Christopher Foster

Closing the Global Economy’s New Digital Divide, by Shamel Azmeh

Left to Other Peoples’ Devices? A Political Economy Perspective on the Big Data Revolution in Development, by Laura Mann

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South Africa



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Ms. Vahini Naidu 
South African Permanent Mission
E.: [email protected]