The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has called for a policy framework to enable Nigeria reap the benefits of digital trade.
She stated that digital trade requires an adequate ecosystem, starting with good connectivity and encompassing other elements, such as sufficient skills, logistics and payments systems.
Speaking on the Entrepreneurship Village Silicon Valley initiative showcased during the recent public forum of the WTO held in Geneva, Switzerland, Okonjo-Iweala described digital trade as the future.
According to her, digitally delivered service is the fastest growing segment of trade growing at 8 percent per year, faster than growth in service and goods trade.
Okonjo-Iweala expressed delight over the Silicon Valley project currently being built in Nigeria, and acknowledged the executive governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for attracting such an impact-focused project to his state.
She further said that Climate change has the potential to shift comparative advantages and change the pattern of trade, particularly in sectors like agriculture.
Summy Smart Francis, president, Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (A.Y.E), in his remark appreciated the WTO leadership and the A.Y.E team for the opportunity to showcase the Entrepreneurship Village project to the world.
He said that the project’s overarching goal is to create an environment where entrepreneurs can learn, grow, and thrive. According to him, the project aims at producing resilient and successful entrepreneurs who will play a key role in eradicating poverty, creating jobs, driving economic development, and addressing the many challenges facing Africa.
He explained that the Entrepreneurship Village project is a creative, innovation, technology and business green campus that provides a complete ecosystem for businesses, MSMEs and startups. “It aims to create an enabling environment for learning, leadership, lifestyle, and legacy.
“The primary objective of the Entrepreneurship Village also aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Agenda 2063,” Francis said.
According to him, the alignment involves developing human capital, fostering innovation and technology, promoting community development, creating employment, eradicating poverty, and nurturing entrepreneurship.
Francis also said that the African Silicon Valley initiative places special focus on empowering women, persons with disabilities and the youth through entrepreneurship.
Meanwhile, the WTO Public Forum is a yearly event that brings together people from different backgrounds, such as civil society, government, business, and academia, to discuss and shape the future of global trade.