Balaclava, Mauritius, 8 November 2012 (ECA) - SADC Ministers responsible for Telecommunications, Postal and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) approved the SADC eCommerce Strategic framework for the SADC region in Balaclava, Mauritius on the 8th of November 2012.
The sub-regional e-commerce strategy was launched in the framework of ECA-SADC Multi-year programme and is aimed at increasing trade amongst member States through e-commerce, not as a new form of trade, but as a new medium for conducting trade in goods and services.
It involves the sale or purchase of goods and services by businesses, individuals, governments or other organizations. These objectives will be achieved through the promotion of enabling legal and regulatory environment for e-commerce, intra-regional electronic trade, implementing of capacity building programs for e-commerce for policy-makers, businesses, SMEs in member States and strengthening e-commerce sub-regional and national infrastructure.
The ICT Ministers urged member States to implement the pillars as provided in the SADC e-Commerce strategy and Action Plan. Ministers expressed gratitude to ECA for the support rendered to SADC Secretariat and called for continued support in the establishment of the SADC ICT Observatory to harmonize ICT indicator collection, analysis and promote better informed ICT-led decision-making processes within the region.
The ICT Ministers also acknowledged the importance of the African Union Convention on Cybersecurity and called for the eventual alignment of the draft SADC Models Laws on Cyber Security to the Convention.
Louis Pelembe, Minister of Science and Technology of Mozambique and Chair of SADC, said time had come for all member States to ensure that ICTs were responsive to the needs of all sections of the population. In this regard, the cyber security framework was a very important instrument in the evolving knowledge-based economy and globalization and therefore all member States should implement the models law on cyber security which was also a foundation for effective electronic commerce.
Mr Sizo Mhlanga, speaking on behalf of ECA said the SADC e-commerce strategy was an important milestone in implementing the e-SADC initiative as it would support continued growth and expansion of trade and business. He advised that there were enormous economic growth opportunities offered by e-commerce and that it is generally anticipated that global e-commerce revenues would hit a whopping $963 billion by 2013.
Mhlanga called for support of the strategy through a sound legal infrastructure and compliance environment, pledging ECA’s support for the continued implementation of the SADC initiative.
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