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PowerPoint Presentation - Economic Commission for Africa

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					Workshop on the operationalization of the
Enterprise Development Facility for women
       Entrepreneurs (EDF) Phase II
               Addis Ababa,
              13-15 July 2004


African Women Entrepreneurs &
         E-Commerce

            Aida Opoku-Mensah
     Team Leader, Promoting ICT4D, DISD
                                www.uneca.org/aisi
              Background
What is AISI?
 a vision for ICT development
  in Africa
 an implementation process,
  with evaluation of results &
  impact (Policy)
 series of sector applications
  defined according to Africa’s
  priorities (Info+Know)
 a tool where synergies are
  created through open
  partnerships
                                  www.uneca.org/aisi
                AISI was:
 launched in 1996 by the African
  Ministers in charge of planning
  and economic development
 endorsed by the African
  Regional Telecommunications
  for Development Conference
  held in Abidjan in 1996
 endorsed by the 1996 OAU
  Summit
 welcomed during the G7+1
  Denver Summit in 1997
                                    www.uneca.org/aisi
            AISI Activities
 Policy – assisting countries to develop national
  e-strategies and raise awareness among policy
  makers (including parliamentarians) on issues
  related to ICT4D


 Information and knowledge – building
  capacity of member States to develop and use
  information for development




                                     www.uneca.org/aisi
            AISI Activities
 Outreach activities – information dissemination
  on ICT4D activities –involvement of Women’s
  groups/CSOs, Media, Academia, MPs, etc


 Partnership and networking – joint ICT
  programs with development and funding agencies
  working in Africa and voicing Africa’s position in
  global fora like WSIS




                                    www.uneca.org/aisi
          AISI Activities

 Support to regional ICT initiatives –
 NEPAD ICT cluster, harmonization at the
 level of Regional Economic Communities
 (RECs).




                              www.uneca.org/aisi
          AISI Partnership
Implemented through
   the Partnership for Information and Communication
    Technologies in Africa (PICTA)
   The United Nations ICT Task Force, African
    Stakeholders Network (ASN)
   African Technical Adv. Committee (ATAC)
   Support from multilateral partners
   Support from bilateral partners




                                      www.uneca.org/aisi
           AISI and Gender
To achieve the strategic objectives of the AISI,
Member States need to consider ways of
making:

“special efforts to create awareness among those
  unfamiliar with the potential benefits of the
  African information infrastructure with particular
  attention to gender equity”.



                                     www.uneca.org/aisi
         AISI & Gender:
      What are the Challenges

Gender equity
  women constitute 50 per cent of the
  population but do 60 per cent of work, earn
  one-tenth of the income and own 1/100 of the
  assets;
Access
  Women more limited access than men to
  technology in general, to information, the
  media and communication facilities;
                                 www.uneca.org/aisi
         AISI & Gender:
      What are the Challenges


Availability
  Lack of readily available information on
  women in society, culture and economy.




                                  www.uneca.org/aisi
  AISI, Trade & Commerce

Objective
   provide value-added network information
   services to business people and
   organizations to leverage the continent's
   competitiveness in trade and
   investments
Beneficiaries
   small- and medium-size enterprises,
   manufacturers, traders, investors,
   importers, exporters, bankers, and
   capital investors
                             www.uneca.org/aisi
  AISI, Trade & Commerce

Goals
  • link chambers of commerce and trade
      associations to the national communication
      backbone
  •   provide the business community with timely and
      accurate economic and financial indicators
  •   provide channels for the promotion of products
      and services
  •   improve access to stock market and commodity
      information
  •   improve access to capital markets


                                    www.uneca.org/aisi
Definitions: E- Trade & Commerce

Based on several disciplines (e.g. marketing, finance,
economics and organisation development), E
trade/commerce is any form of business transaction
undertaken electronically (e.g. Internet) to:
 Enhance business efficiency (e.g lower transaction
   and communication costs).
 Increase business effectiveness through widening
   market potential (access)
 Meet customer needs
 Provide opportunities for enhanced product and
   service innovation.

                                        www.uneca.org/aisi
                Examples of
           E- Trade & Commerce
 Tangible goods: arts & crafts, agric produce,
  etc. This category undertaken by African
  women:
BOTSWANACRAFT: Unique Basketry and Bushman Crafts
http://www.botswanacraft.bw/

Egypt: Aldokkan Gift Shop: handmade gifts, crafts and souvenirs.
http://www.aldokkan.com/

Ethiopia: Ethio Merkato
http://www.ethiomerkato.com/

Kenya Creations: Hand Made Ladies Handbags, African Art
Authentic Kenyan Designs http://www.kenya-creations.com/
                                             www.uneca.org/aisi
            Examples of
       E- Trade & Commerce
 Non tangible goods: tourism, music,
  digital pictures, news, software

 Teleservices: transcription of
  documents, Desktop publishing, call
  centers



                             www.uneca.org/aisi
                Main Areas

Main activities categorised as:
    Business-to Business (B2B)
   Business-to-Government (B2G)
   Business to Consumer (B2C)
   Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)
   Also,
        Government to Business (G2B) – as
    result of E-Government activities

                                  www.uneca.org/aisi
Importance of E-Trade/Commerce for
   African Women Entrepreneurs
  New Markets (local and international) for
   women, especially those who form 60%
   of the informal sector
  Greater economic empowerment
   through direct market access
   (disintermediation – cut middleman)
  Enhanced livelihoods through selling
   products, services and know how.
  More technical skills acquired as a result
                                www.uneca.org/aisi
    Barriers to E-Trade/Commerce

• Infrastructure: Limited and poor quality of
    communication and services
•   Rural Access: Still problematic
•   Affordability: High costs/prohibitive
•   Illiteracy: Literacy needed for using Internet,
    especially among women
•   Digital Literacy: Still low (women lag behind)
•   Low base B2C: local transactions unviable
•   Policies: enabling environment

                                     www.uneca.org/aisi
      AISI Policies, Strategies:
            E-Commerce
National Information and Communication
Infrastructure (NICI) Policies and Plans:
   A mechanism to implement the global vision of
    AISI at national level
   A guiding framework for ICT program planning
    and project development and implementation
   A coordination mechanism between various
    stakeholders and funding agencies
   An evaluation tool for decision makers


                                     www.uneca.org/aisi
        AISI Policies, Strategies:
              Role of ECA
Sectoral Policies and Plans: E-Commerce legal
and regulatory frameworks ( digital signatures,
electronic contracts, certification authority, and
cryptography and the following should be addressed
within this framework:
Encryption and decryption Lack of security over the Internet is a
  real threat to the development of e-commerce. Encryption and
  decryption techniques provide authentication, authorization,
  confidentiality, integrity to services.

Digital signatures digital signatures and electronic contracts are
   relevant in case of dispute between trading partners in an e-
   commerce transaction.
                                                 www.uneca.org/aisi
       AISI Policies, Strategies:
             Role of ECA
NICI Policies and Plans: E-Commerce:
 Certification authorities secure electronic
  transactions, certification authorities to act as trusted
  third parties to verify information about parties.
    African certification authorities must take part in the
     framework for supporting international interoperability of
     certification mechanisms and the mutual recognition of
     certification authorities.
 Consumer protection In an electronic market place
  not easy for consumers to identify and localize
  suppliers.
    For consumer confidence in electronic commerce, need to
     promote protection mechanisms

                                                www.uneca.org/aisi
       AISI Policies, Strategies:
             Role of ECA
NICI Policies and Plans: E-Commerce:
 The usefulness of the courts For international
  electronic commerce, the usefulness of courts for
  resolving problem transactions may be limited.

 Intellectual property rights. crucial in providing
  security and trust with respect to investment and trade
  in ideas and cultural activities and for commercial
  returns.
    Music and cultural products is a key sector where Africa can
     capture some e-commerce niches. It is essential to protect
     African producers in order to unleash this type of activity.

                                              www.uneca.org/aisi
     AISI Policies, Strategies:
           Role of ECA
NICI Policies and Plans: E-Commerce:
 Electronic payments Online payment using
  credit cards a missing component of the
  African E-business environment
   security major challenge to the development of E-
    payments
   Involving Central Banks in e-Commerce policy
    development



                                     www.uneca.org/aisi
     AISI Policies, Strategies:
           Role of ECA
NICI Policies and Plans: E-Commerce:
Consequently,
policies and plans being developed give basis
for harnessing E-Trade/Business/Commerce
under AISI framework.

Also the WSIS Action Plan recommends the
  development of this sector…

                                 www.uneca.org/aisi
           WSIS Action Plan
Excellent opportunity to move forward Africa’s e-
commerce agenda within AISI, e.g on E
Business:
   Promote use of e-business and models in
    developing countries;
   Based on Internet access, governments should
    stimulate private sector investment, create new
    applications, content development and support
    PPPs;
   Government policies should favour assistance to,
    and growth of SMEs, in ICT industry and e-
    business to stimulate economic growth, job
    creation as an element for poverty reduction.

                                     www.uneca.org/aisi
 Importance of Policies, Strategies:
   Role of Women Entrepreneurs
Women need to be involved in Policy
process to ensure that:

 Policies provide favourable environment for
  women to participate in E-
  business/Trade/Commerce;
 Enable enterprise development among women;
 Protect women entrepreneurs in E-transactions;
 Provide the capacity needed for women to
  engage in E-transactions.

                                   www.uneca.org/aisi
   Capacity Building Activities:
            ECA/ITCA
The Information Technology Centre for Africa (ITCA) in
partnership with PEOPLink hosted an e-commerce
Ethiopia using the CatGen Software, a general-
purpose web catalog building tool:

 allow small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to
  deploy both B2B and B2C e- commerce web sites.
 Basic ICT training and Internet use by ITCA and
  utilization of CatGen by PEOPLink
 Equipped with the necessary skills that would enable
  them create real ecommerce sites and develop
  product catalogs after 30 days of trial period
                                       www.uneca.org/aisi
   Capacity Building Activities:
              ITCA
ITCA has been building the capacity of women
Entrepreneurs from Francophone and Anglophone
Africa. 45 Women trained in two rounds.




                                   www.uneca.org/aisi
     Capacity Building Activities:
                ITCA
Impact of Training on the women:

Cecilia Venica, Mozambique: Training women in IT use

Estella Kapata, Zambia: Cisco course has improved her
Career she was promoted (working for the biggest ISP in
country.
Mariatu Taylor-Kamara, Sierra Leone: Networking and Hardware
Maintenance technician as result of training worked on IT projects for
Bank of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Roads Transport Authority and
National Social Security and Insurance Trust




                                                    www.uneca.org/aisi
Way Forward/Recommendations

In general there is still a long way to go with E-
Commerce development in Africa in general. Therefore
the following are recommended if women are to gain a
foothold in this area of economic activity:

 Capacity building activities that provide skills base
  for E-Commerce;
 Encouraging business start-ups/incubation projects
  that advance this activity;
 Encouraging women to engage in e-enterprises (e.g
  Grameen Phone project/Bangladesh)

                                        www.uneca.org/aisi
Way Forward/Recommendations

In general there is still a long way to go with E-
Commerce development in Africa in general. Therefore
the following are recommended if women are to gain a
foothold in this area of economic activity:

 Identifying appropriate technologies to advance E-Commerce
  activities among women given the constraints:
    M-commerce: buying and selling of goods and services using
     wireless handheld devices (e.g. mobile telephones or personal data
     assistants - PDAs)
    Mobile telephony on the increase in Africa and many countries
     have more mobile than fixed phones.
 Developing appropriate technologies for women, including
  content development and use of African languages

                                                  www.uneca.org/aisi
Way Forward/Recommendations

In support of the EDF, propose:

 Network of Women Entrepreneurs for ICTs
 Establish necessary training programme to advance
  this proposal, including developing training materials
  (ITCA);
 Provide advocacy skills to women in countries where
  there are national ICT policies to pursue gender-
  sensitive policies for the advancement of women
 Create an on-line discussion group to stimulating the
  Network;

                                       www.uneca.org/aisi
       Thank You !

http://www.uneca.org/aisi/
      aisi@uneca.org

                   www.uneca.org/aisi

				
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