Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has stated that e-commerce will facilitate the inclusion of MSMEs and women entrepreneurs into the digital economy, as they can be assisted to trade on e-commerce platforms.
She made the statement at the virtual event held by the Peterson Institute for International Economics tagged “Rebuilding the Global Economy: Role of the WTO and US approaches to it”
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said e-commerce, which is a big part of the digital economy is here to stay, and it will play a key role in bringing inclusion into the trade, especially for women and many micro, medium and small enterprises, who can be assisted to trade on e-commerce platforms — as many small and medium enterprises are using these platforms.
She explained that the inclusion of women into the digital economy through e-commerce is going to be huge and beneficial for the digital economy, as women own 50 per cent of the micro, medium and small enterprises in the African continent.
Okonjo-Iweala said that the recent demands for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have shown how prepared women are in this regard, as face masks which have become instrumental in combatting the spread of COVID-19 are being produced by women — with most of them using e-commerce platforms to sell the masks.
On globalization leaving people behind, she explained that e-commerce is a very important way of including them, notwithstanding the problems that must be solved on data flows, data localization, and in fact, the regulatory framework — since many countries do not have the regulatory framework or the capacity to build compared to the developed countries.
In her statement at the virtual event, she said, “I believe the digital economy is here to stay, and e-commerce is a big part of it, as it is also a way of bringing inclusion into the trade.
“You can see that for e-commerce; many micro, medium and small enterprises can be assisted to trade on e-commerce platforms. In fact, some are doing so already — many small and medium enterprises are using these platforms. And this is a way of bringing them in”.
“The same with women. Women happen to own 50 percent of the micro, medium and small enterprises in my part of the world, in the African continent.
“And so if you can include them on these platforms, you also can include women. And by the way, let me just state the fact that for masks, which all of us are wearing, If you go on any of the e-commerce platforms, you will see women trading a lot of these beautiful things. So they are ready on. They’re already using it.”