Enabling the Adoption of AfCFTA through Digitalization

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As African countries continue to push for the adoption of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the digitalization of the continent's economy has become a key focus.

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The benefits of technologies such as blockchain, AI, next-gen batteries, robotics, 3D printing and drones, in terms of increased efficiency and transparency in trading, better market predictions, and streamlined logistics, are too great to be overlooked.

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The use of technology such as blockchain can improve transparency and efficiency in trading by providing tamper-proof records and secure digital transactions.

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Benefits of Digitalization:

blockchain

White Frame Corner
White Frame Corner

Artificial intelligence can help with predicting market trends, identifying trading partners and optimizing logistics. Next-generation batteries can help with the storage of energy and power for various applications.

Robotics and 3D printing can help with manufacturing and automation of processes. Drones can help in delivery of goods and services, surveying and mapping.

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Gray Frame Corner

Technology and innovation policies tend to be viewed separately from trade policies. However, the success of AfCFTA requires a convergence of these two areas. After all, trade is highly dependent on technologies embodied in infrastructure, transport and other means of transport and communication.

Path to achieving the goals of AfCFTA

Technology-Trade Nexus

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White Frame Corner

In order to fully realize the benefits of AfCFTA, it is essential that African countries not only focus on adopting new technologies, but also on innovating in their policy-making and policy design.

It is crucial for our digitalization strategies to include radio as a means of reaching out to marginalized communities. This is especially true in the context of the AfCFTA, where many citizens in impoverished, remote areas may not have access to technology or the disposable income to attend school.

Despite being home to 16.7 percent of the world population, Africa produces only 1.1 percent of the scientific knowledge and attracts only 1 percent of global investment in R&D. Additionally, the continent holds only 0.1 percent of the world's patents.

Research and development (R&D) investment is critical for the successful adoption of AfCFTA.

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