(Xinhua) -- Kenya on Tuesday urged Africa to leverage
on technology in order to boost intra-Africa trade.
Ministry of Industry, Trade and
Co-operatives Principal Secretary Dr Chris Kiptoo told a
regional forum in Nairobi that technology will help to improve
the speed and efficiency of border procedures, thereby reducing
trade costs and enhancing cross border trade.
“The share of intra-African trade
remains low compared to intraregional trade in other parts
of the world and so unlocking Africa’s full economic
potential would require deployment of technology,” Kiptoo
He noted that as of last year, 69
percent of exports of European nations were to other countries
on the continent while in Asia, that figure stood at 52 percent
and in North America at 50 percent while Africa had the lowest
level of intra-regional trade, at just 18 percent.
Kiptoo made the remarks during the
official opening of the African Alliance for e-commerce (AAEC)
14th Executive Committee and the eighth General
AAEC is committed to enable Africa to
leverage on e-commerce for sustainable growth. Kiptoo said that
technology can be used to unlock the continent’s trade potential
by transforming customs processes and trade logistics.
“As a country, Kenya is gradually
doing away with the manual and time consuming cargo
clearance procedures at its borders and ports which are
often associated with inefficiency, corruption, revenue
leakages and costly delays,” Kiptoo said.
He said that Kenya has put a premium
on the use of Information Communication Technology to promote
Africa’s cross border and international trade.
“As a country we are committed to the
total transformation of Africa’s trade practices and we will
continue to actively champion intra-Africa trade,” he added.
The East African nation is currently
reforming its trade practices and processes in order to make
them more responsive to modern realities for global