A virtual import and export conference and exhibition opened Tuesday with the Zambian government urging African countries to embrace e-commerce in order to accelerate trade.
The two-day event, hosted by the Zambian government in collaboration with the private sector, is a flagship networking platform aimed at promoting intra-Africa trade on the African continent.
It has brought together business players and technocrats from different African countries to promote imports and exports.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma said the world is changing which necessitates a change in the way of doing business.
He said the advent of COVID-19, which is discouraging physical contacts, requires that businesses embrace e-commerce in order to compete favorably on the international market.
According to him, connecting Africa through e-commerce requires massive investments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, adding that enhanced use of e-commerce will contribute to a reduction in business costs.
According to him, Africa has untapped natural resources that need to be exploited in order to enhance economic development, adding that e-commerce will play a vital role in creating markets.
Zambia, he said, is already embracing e-commerce which saw the country launching an e-portal recently aimed at providing business opportunities for investors.
He noted that there is a need to create business linkages among industries within the region as they have the potential to accelerate economic development.
Being held under the theme “Connecting Africa through Trade and E-commerce”, the event has attracted over 1,000 participants and about 100 exhibitors and will host a range of activities including business-to-business forums with local and international speakers, as well as business meetings using the latest technology and trade matching opportunities.