|AFRICAN TRADE REPORT 2019: African Trade in a Digital World
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|The Report provides insights into the effects of digital transformation on export competitiveness and effective integration in production networks. Although digitalization is already a source of efficiency gains in the trade arena where it is increasing market access and changing the structure of trade finance and payment systems—its benefits in terms of economic development are wide-ranging. In addition to increasing efficiency and productivity at firm level, digitalization can reduce the dependence on commodities by accelerating the diversification into new and more value-added products. Digital technology applications are increasingly removing barriers imposed by borders, making it possible for businesses to transact across borders seamlessly. This report also undertakes a comprehensive review of policies and regulatory reforms that can ensure a successful transition towards digital transformation and propel countries to their full potential in the digital age. It stresses that some of the key challenges that have affected the growth of African trade—most notably a deficit of physical infrastructure and its inherent implications for supply-side constraints—will not suddenly disappear in the digital era.
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