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Press Release: How Will Innovation & Tech Challenge The Future Of Intra-African Trade ?

Douala, Cameroon – August 7th, 2019 – The African Alliance for e-Commerce (AAEC), a framework to promote national and regional single windows in compliance with recommendations of international institutions, and Cameroon’s Single Window For Foreign Trade (GUCE) have joined forces to host the 7th edition of the Single Window Conference & Exhibition (SWC). The event will happen from September 17th to 19th at the Yaounde Conference Center, a first for Cameroon’s capital. 

Under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Cameroon, HE Paul Biya, and under the leadership of the AAEC and the GUCE, the event will mainly aim at tackling topics like intra-african trade initiatives and challenges, trade facilitation instruments for landlocked countries or disruptive logistics and innovative startups. 

Representatives from more than twenty African countries will participate in the conference, along with development partners and international organizations involved in trade facilitation including the World Bank, the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the World Customs Organization, UNCTAD, ECOWAS,… 

According to Isidore Bayiha, AAEC president and chairman of the GUCE, “Integrating innovation into the supply chain must be a priority for us as trade leading stakeholders. We can no longer wait. Digital technologies are top priority to make Single Windows powerful tools at the service of our states, to contribute to the competitiveness of African economies and help intra-African trade take off.”, 

The three-day event will be marked by the participation of prestigious local & international speakers from the UN, the World Bank, the African Union Commission, ECCAS, ECOWAS, JUMIA, or ALIBABA, who will discuss the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), opportunities for single windows and e-commerce, major challenges of intra-african trade and how to boost it. 

Second day of the event will focus on trade facilitation, opportunities and challenges of single windows implementation and initiatives to enhance the supply chain, specifically for landlocked countries in CEMAC. 

The latest member countries’ innovations will also be reviewed, with the participation of numerous African single window CEO’s (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, & Tunisia), as well as the hinterland countries port logistics with the Autonomous Port of Douala and the Autonomous Port of Kribi. 

Last but not least, the third day of the event will give a glimpse into the future of logistics on the continent. During a special event, four of the “Disruptive Logistics Challenge” startup winners will pitch their projects in front of the distinguished audiences. Application to join the challenge are now open until August 25th on the SWC website. A tech talk about the e-force (the single form of foreign trade procedures) will follow up and how Cameroon is leading the way with different stakeholders of the field like SABC, CNCC, BOLLORE AFRICA LOGISTICS and UCAM. The last session of the day will focus on the future trends of single windows technologies. Big data, blockchain, AI… representatives and researchers from UNESCAP, the Singapore Chamber of Commerce, Abdoulahi Faouzi from AAEC will cover it all with the help of the UNCEFACT. 

To close off the entire event, all recommendations gathered during the three days will be summarized and lectured on September 19th. 

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