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Africa and the Service Industries

The services industries in Africa are a major component of the Continent’s economy. In 2016, about 55% of Africa’s GDP was generated by services. The share of services in Africa’s trade reached 22% in 2016, following a steep increase and catching up process to the global average of 24%. But despite these figures, in 2017, Africa accounted for only 3% of the world’s total services imports and 2% of the world’s total exports of services.

The UN estimates that the removal of tariff barriers will increase intra-African trade by 50%, and this improvement of trade facilitation will more than double intra-African trade. Intra-African trade in all goods and services is estimated to be only 18% of Africa’s total exports at present. The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and UNCTAD have held a meeting with 6 countries to see how the 3 service sectors – financial services, transport and tourism – can be stimulated. All these are key sectors for ecommerce. The countries were – Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Mali and Togo.

Shahrain Coovadia

Shahrain Coovadia is a Cyber Security Consultant at Deloitte, South Africa. Prior to joining Deloitte she started a web-design studio, and worked at the University of Cape Town as a teaching facilitator. Shahrain graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours specialising in Information Systems. She currently facilitates web & database management for Ecommerce Forum South Africa (EFSA).

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