For use of information media - Not an official record
Nairobi, Kenya, 10-14 December

Nairobi, Kenya, 12 December 2018

​The debut edition of Africa eCommerce Week began on Monday at the United Nations Office in Nairobi. A series of media events are being be held over the course of the 10-14 December event.

Thursday’s programme is as follows:


Time:  9:30-10:00

Location:  VIP area (meet at 9:15 in the Press Center to be escorted there)

Theme:  The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and UNCTAD sign an agreement today to facilitate an assessment of the readiness of Iraq to engage in and benefit from e-commerce.


  • Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD
  • Hani Salem Sonbol, Chief Executive Officer of the ITFC
  • Burhan Namik Al-Jaf, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations Office at Nairobi


Press Conference

Time:  14:30-15:00

Location:   Press Center
Theme:  New financial inclusion projects in Africa, Asia and the Pacific


  • Bishar A. Hussein, Director General of the Universal Postal Union


Africa eCommerce Week is the first regional incarnation of UNCTAD’s global eCommerce Week, held annually in Geneva. Under the theme “Empowering African Economies in the Digital Era”, it is a response to the growing demand for e-commerce dialogues, as the digital and mobile revolution continues apace.
Digitization is bringing new opportunities to Africa. Across the continent, new digital businesses are emerging rapidly and growing fast. But with Africa also epitomizing the digital divide between the connected and the unconnected, it is critical to seize the chance to drive development for African economies and their populations, so that no-one is left behind.
Africa eCommerce Week is co-organized by UNCTAD (the United Nations body responsible for helping leverage trade to deliver development), the African Union and the European Union. Hosted by the Government of Kenya, it is part of joint efforts by partners in the eTrade for all initiative.
The 2,000 registered participants include senior political leaders, who have been joined by representatives of 330 businesses, with 50 CEOs and other entrepreneurs from start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises, among them African graduates of the eFounders Initiative facilitated by UNCTAD. Also taking part will be civil society delegates and officials from more than 20 international organizations, and eTrade for all partners.
Conference sessions will tackle the following challenges:
• Accelerating the e-trade readiness of African countries
• Expanding access to affordable and reliable ICT infrastructure and services
• Fostering skills for the digital economy
• Boosting financial inclusion through mobile money
• Improving access to finance for digital entrepreneurs
Other questions will include online trust – how to divide the good, the illicit, and the mislabelled – taxation in the digital economy, consumer protection, a single window at the borders, e-commerce and commodity dependence, trade logistics, digital identity, and much more.
Registration is free but required in order to attend. Please click here for more details, and here for other practical information.
To help navigate the conference, UNCTAD has created an event app that can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. Please note that the app’s networking function is only available to registered conference participants.