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EFSA’s Fast Forward the Future

What is EFSA looking at in 2022? One issue we are exploring with the government is the accreditation of ecommerce skills. Some employers want to employ graduates, others prefer the entrepreneurial spirit, but what about the employed? In the multi-skilled world of ecommerce whether you run an e-shop or are employed by a delivery or payment solution, recording your skills is likely to be important for your career. EFSA is therefore identifying the necessary skill sets and planning to set up accreditation which will let people follow their expertise in a structured form. This will also help large companies to select experts who fit their needs. Our other plans for 2022 are: –

  • To find finance for improved research into the sector. We have a group of 6 universities ready to pool their research facilities. We need sponsors – let me know if you have ideas ([email protected]). More extensive research is not only helpful for those involved in the business, but it also assists investors to understand the scale of ecommerce.
  • Encourage the teaching of ecommerce and the digital economy at tertiary AND secondary levels. Looking ahead, we need young matriculants to leave school with a better idea of the careers available, and therefore what degree or technical courses they should follow. More teaching of the digital economy at schools will also trickle down to parents, making them more aware of what the digital economy means.
  • Prepare best practices on marketing ecommerce.
  • Continue to cooperate with the Information Regulator on the implementation of POPIA and continue our fireside chats (see the home pages of our website – www.ecomafrica.org.)
  • Track the implementation of the Cybersecurity Act. We will be publishing on the website an article on the new Act by the Chair of our Legal Committee, Rieka van Wyk, to guide our readers through the new law, and we will hold a Fireside Chat on it with Wolfpack, a cybersecurity organisation.
  • Continue to follow both the Competition Commission’s market inquiry into e-platforms in South Africa, and the Department of Communication and Digital Technologies’ (DCDT) plans on data localisation.
  • We were invited by the Director-General of the DCDT to work more closely with her department and we will be exploring possibilities.
  • Continue following the AfCFTA’s negotiations on the free trade area. A special protocol on ecommerce and digital trade is expected to be negotiated this year. The work of the World Trade Organisation on ecommerce is expected to be used as a basis for this AfCFTA protocol. We are active through the Digital Trade Network at the WTO level.
  • We are involved in three applications for sessions at the UNCTAD annual Ecommerce Week and hope we are successful in being selected.
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