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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya urges Africa to leverage on tech to boost intra-Africa trade

NAIROBI (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 said.

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 Assembly meetings.

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 competitiveness.

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