Our eCommerce Week is Focusing on Innovative Solutions for Development in a Digital World, Says UNCTAD

Akanimo Sampson

Akanimo Sampson

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) eCommerce Week slated for April 25 through 29 is bringing together UN experts, governments, business, civil society groups and academics focused on innovative solutions for development in a digital world.

Over 60 high-level speakers, 100 sessions and thousands of participants are lined up for the event.

UNCTAD is however, the UN trade and development body. It supports developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively and equips them to deal with the potential drawbacks of greater economic integration.

It provides analysis, facilitates consensus-building and offers technical assistance to help developing countries use trade, investment, finance and technology as vehicles for inclusive and sustainable development.

The theme of the eCommerce Week is Data and Digitalization for Development. With the theme, the event will address the pressing need for global dialogue, debating with a wide range of United Nations and government representatives as well as private sector and civil society actors how the digital world is managed and how its governance will help to bridge the digital divide and support sustainable development.

An inter-governmental group of experts will also be looking at the role of digitalization during the pandemic and in the recovery.

eCommerce Week, as the global forum on development and the digital economy, aims to highlight the urgency of global data and digital governance to bridge the digital and data divides, fight inequality and support developing countries benefit from the digital economy.

The event will host debates on the online economy, digital entrepreneurship, data governance and cyber-security, the role of big tech, the challenges of setting global rules, the importance of collecting and sharing high-quality health data and threats to the environment from technology’s toxic waste and growing carbon footprint.

UNCTAD Secretary-General, Rebeca Grynspan, says”the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the huge and growing digital and data divide that cuts off many developing countries from health-care solutions, financial access, e-commerce, technology skills and new growth sectors. Now is the time for a new path with new governance that makes the digital world far more inclusive, equitable and beneficial,”

She further underlined that “all of us – technology companies, multilateral institutions, policymakers, the business community, and civil society groups – must work together to set robust rules of the game and ensure all countries and people have full access to the digital, data and cyber-security solutions they need to develop and grow.”

Key speakers will include internet pioneer Vinton Cerf, author and digital expert Gerry McGovern as well as global leaders from UN agencies, governments, major tech and digital corporations, digital entrepreneurs and innovators as well as thought leaders from civil society.

Convened by UNCTAD in collaboration with eTrade for all and other partners, eCommerce Week will take place in a hybrid format, in Geneva and online.

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Professor Jideofor Adibe


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