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EFSA Research Committee Commits to Collecting Data on Ecommerce Activities in SA

The EFSA Research Committee, chaired by Prof Adheesh Budree of UCT, has produced a paper outlining the need to ensure adequate data on the development of ecommerce in SA. This paper was drafted in response to a request from the DTI and has 6 University professors as signatories (from UCT, WITS, UJ, UNISA and Vaal Technical). There is a model for data collection provided by PayU South America which produced a study on ecommerce trends mid-2020. The research will require funding and EFSA is actively discussing this with potential donors. The pan-African EFA is reaching out to professors in other countries around Africa to build on the South African model in the future. This will make it much easier for those interested to compare data. The EFSA Committee points out that it is essential for the sector to have solid data in order to help attract investment in the future.

Readers will recall that UNCTAD agreed with member states in 2018 to get official data collected by each country. Further discussion and commitment was given at the UNCTAD governmental experts meeting in October. In addition, a recent OECD report (https://etradeforall.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=3592d5dcafd1b9278dd78095f&id=c318118552&e=82c78a9998) prepared for the G20 Digital Economy Task Force proposes a new definition that aims to establish a common baseline for measuring and monitoring the digital economy, while remaining flexible enough to cover the full range of policy objectives. Although these are great initiatives, business needs to identify and produce the data on turnover activity rather than depend on the very lengthy discussions at government level.

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Alastair Tempest

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