USCIB joined 11 other industry associations to urge negotiators to develop comprehensive and in-depth pan-African digital trade commitments for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
According to the statement, Africa is positioned to become a global leader in developing global transformation opportunities across a multitude of sectors. In order to facilitate this, access to the global digital economy must be a key part of the continent’s strategy for growth and development. A digital transformation for Africa will improve innovation, facilitate job creation, and ease efforts for achieving equity, particularly for micro/small/medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The continent holds an enormous market for job opportunities that incorporate emerging digital technologies, and facilitating this transition through the removal of infrastructure barriers is crucial.
The statement calls for “proactive efforts by African leaders” to support clear digital trade rules for the AfCFTA and demands a steady commitment to the digital transformation by implementing these rules in an efficient manner. Specifically, USCIB and industry leaders urge that AfCFTA establishes a moratorium on tariffs and customs formalities for electronic transmissions, prohibits restrictions on the cross-border flow of data and forced localization of computing facilities and implements transparent and accountable regulatory practices for digital trade.
USCIB encourages African leaders to support growth on the continent by implementing clear and strong digital trade rules that are founded on best practices and supported by a commitment to transparency and digital innovation.