The extended partnership will focus on strengthening trade facilitation and logistics in developing countries to facilitate e-commerce.
The announcement was made by ITC Executive Director Arancha González and Stefano Arganese, Chief Executive Officer, DHL Freight Central Eastern Southern Europe and Americas, Middle East, Africa, at ‘Connecting African Enterprises to the World of e-Commerce’, an event held today on the fringes of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda.
‘I am extremely pleased to extend our partnership with DHL to also comprise e-commerce for African business,’ said Ms. González. ‘As the digital economy rapidly expands, it is providing evermore opportunities for companies – especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – to take part in the global economy. Technology is a game changer for SMEs. Size, landlockedness and distance can be overcome with innovation and technology. By any measure, e-commerce is big business. It represents a major change in the way that trade is conducted and offers great potential to help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.’
‘DHL is honoured to be the main partner in this initiative,’ said Mr. Arganese. ‘As a leading logistics provider, DHL views itself as a global trade facilitator. We see a need to actively support enterprises in their endeavour to catapult from being regional players to global heavyweights. In fact, e-commerce logistics is one focus area of DHL eCommerce that offers new last-mile delivery solutions in various emerging markets to connect consumers and e-commerce merchants with better services.’
As part of the extended collaboration, DHL will become a partner of ITC’s E-Solutions Programme and will provide advisory services on solutions for e-commerce transportation and logistics. DHL will also provide support to the eComSouk initiative, which helps develop tools for traders in Africa to sell their goods online.
DHL and ITC are already working together on knowledge transfer to boost the competitiveness of SMEs, especially in logistics and supply-chain management. Building competence in export processes provides easier access for SMEs to regional and global markets.
The two organizations are also providing joint logistics advisory support to customs authorities and customs-clearance providers, and to SMEs’ transport management. A logistics and transport advisory programme was recently launched in Senegal in partnership with African regional institutions. It will soon be expanded to include the other eight countries belonging to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).