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African Union Commission Digital Trade Dialogue

African Union, Virtual

African Union and Alliance partners

Given African Union and Member States’ ongoing extensive work on digital development and digital trade in Africa, the Alliance and the African Union Commission engaged in an actionable virtual workshop on September 17th and 18th, 2020 to discuss:


  • Challenges to MSME ecommerce and cross-border ecommerce in Africa;


  • Policies and technology solutions to these challenges in four key areas (payments, finance, logistics and trade facilitation, and workforce development); and


  • Pilot program ideas to operationalize these solutions to further MSME ecommerce in Africa in 2021-22, including through the Alliance’s work.


Particular attention was paid on enabling rural and women-led MSMEs in ecommerce.





DAY 1, 9am EST, 4pm Addis Ababa:


Opening Remarks:


  • Mr. John Kelley, Deputy Chief of Mission to the U.S. Mission to the African Union and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

  • Chiza Charles Chiumya, Head of Trade Division, AUC


Session 1: Presentation on AU’s work on digital economy (30 minutes)


  • Moses Bayingana, Senior Policy Officer, ICT, African Union Commission

  • Moderator: Tapiwa Ronald Cheuka, Trade Policy Officer, AU

Session 2: Presentation by AU DTI on preliminary findings of the situational analysis on digital trade and the digital economy in Africa

(10 minutes)


  • Tapiwa Ronald Cheuka, Trade Policy Officer, AUC


Session 3: Introduction on the eTrade Alliance’s work, overview of diagnostics on challenges for MSME ecommerce in Africa

(15 minutes)


  • Kati Suominen, Founder and CEO, Nextrade Group, and Technical Director of the eTrade Alliance

  • Barbara Kotschwar, Senior Director for Global Government Relations, Visa


Session 4: Discussions on policy and technology solutions and pilot ideas (60 minutes each)


4a. Secure cross-border payments and transactions, including digital identity solutions


  • Djeinaba Kane, Policy Officer, Department of Economic Affairs, AUC

  • Arun Venkataraman, Senior Director, Global Government Engagement, Visa

  • Sahra English, Vice President, Public Policy, Mastercard

  • Emrah Tuzun, Head of Sales and Market Development, PayPal Middle East and Africa, PayPal

  • Moderator: Kati Suominen, Nextrade Group


4b. MSMEs access to innovative online working capital loans and growth capital


  • Chiza Charles Chiumya, Head of Trade Division, AUC

  • Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, Founder and CEO, 4G Capital

  • Gerald Sun, Vice President, Mastercard

  • Moderator: Kati Suominen, Nextrade Group


DAY 2, 9am EST, 4pm Addis Ababa:


4c. Ecommerce logistics and last-mile delivery, and trade facilitation


  • Chenjerai Chibaya, Senior Expert, Customs Cooperation Division, AUC

  • Jason Blackman, Senior Director, Customs, Trade Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, DHL Express

  • Amgad Shehata, Senior Vice Present, International Public Affairs and Strategy, UPS

  • Jacqueline Rajuai, Geo Program Manager, Google Plus Codes

  • Alisa DiCaprio, Head of Trade and Supply Chain, R3

  • Moderator: Tapiwa Ronald Cheuka, Trade Policy Officer, AU


4d. Workforce development for digital economy, including through scalable online training programs and MSME access to digital services

  • Moses Bayingana, Senior Policy Officer ICT, AUC

  • Clemens Weitz, CEO, Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM)

  • Erica Libertelli, Executive Director, Latin American eCommerce Institute

  • Moderator: Tapiwa Ronald Cheuka, Trade Policy Officer, AU


Open dialogue and reflections on next steps (30 minutes)

African Union countries
Virtual Event
September 17th/18th, 2020
Discuss with the AU Commission challenges to MSME and cross-border ecommerce, potential policies and technology solutions, and pilot program ideas to enable ecommerce growth
Alliance members and AU policy makers
African Union Commission
Target Audience
Program Type
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