Ghanaian businesses have been inspired to go into electronic commerce to take advantage of the numerous opportunities brought by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to be ahead of their competitors.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seedway Services Limited, Romaric Ababio Dankwa, e-commerce holds huge promise for enhancing free trade in Africa.
Making a presentation at a bi-monthly meeting of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) in Tema, Mr. Dankwa urged members to take risks and accept change so they can remain relevant in business.
“The future of Africa depends on technology supremacy and our ability to understand it, so you cannot ignore technology and do well; so the sooner you evolve, the better it is. Every innovation is a risk and Ghanaian businesses need to take the risk, accept the change; and if they refuse to change, over time they become obsolete.
“There are a lot of opportunities hidden within e-commerce, and if we look even further with the AfCFTA it offers a lot of opportunities for Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of this huge market that is now being created for them,” Mr. Dankwa said.
With their online presence, he indicated, they can extend their businesses to other African countries and sell fast and very effectively.
Mr. Dankwa noted that COVID-19 has changed the business landscape in a way that nobody would have ever believed.
“The digital economy is just growing and e-commerce is just moving so fast; and what is even more frightening is that if Ghanaian businesses do not take advantage of this, other businesses from other parts of the world will take their business right before their nose because proximity is no longer a guarantee for a transaction,” he said.
With over 3.5 billion people on the Internet searching for solutions, discovering new products, finding deals, buying and shopping online on a daily basis, Mr. Dankwa emphasised that e-commerce has come to stay.
“Clothes, food, glasses and things we thought would never move online are now fully online, and the reason is simple: why should I leave the comfort of my own home when I can get something that is custom-made to my exact size or specification? Why should I travel a distance when I can order with a click and have it delivered to my doorstep? And I believe this is the future,” Mr. Dankwa said.
Tema Regional Chairman of GNCCI, Isaac Barry, encouraged members to take advantage of the current innovations and technology to stay afloat in business. He said the free trade area, which seeks to increase trade by 52% from its current rate of 10 to 15 percent, calls for value addition and innovation – hence the need to enlighten members on technology.