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The 2016 Ghana e-Commerce Expo (Exhibition and Conference) – a platform for online businesses and businesses that want to trade safely on the internet- has been launched in Accra.

The theme for this year’s event, the third in a series, is ‘Transforming Ghana’s online Businesses through Technology, Innovation & Opportunity’.

The first Ghana e-Commerce Expo took place in August 2013 on the theme: “Building Ghana’s Businesses Online” while the second was organized in November 2015 on the theme: ‘Unleashing Ghana’s Online Potential’.

Over 100 delegates are expected at the two-day Expo which is scheduled to take place on the 27th and 28th of October, this year.

Participants will include companies and professionals from online retail shops, telecommunication companies, banks and internet service providers, software designers, solution providers in the mobile commerce, online payment and Information Technology (IT) security.

They will be addressed by leading experts in e-commerce, fintech, mobile and online banking, social media for business, digital advertising and cyber security, among others.

Some of the broad thematic areas to be discussed are ‘Transforming Ghana’s Online Businesses through Technology, Innovation and Opportunity’; ‘The Growing Impact of Cyber Crime and Commerce’; ‘The Power of Financial Inclusion (Banks, FinTech, Mobile-What’s Going On?’); and ‘The Marketplace and Online Retail: Striking the Balance (panel discussion).

The others are ‘Gaining Competitive Advantage with Social Media’; ‘Effective Approach to Digital Advertising’; and ‘Connecting Smallholders to Digital Financial Services’.

E-Commerce Expo 2016 is being organized by Occupational Management Limited (OML) Africa, an international Human Resource (HR) Management Consultancy based in Ghana with specialization in Organizational Development, Generalist HR, Talent Management and Advisory and Legal services.

Addressing a news conference to launch the event in Accra on Friday, Mr Paul Asinor, Event Director, OML Africa, cited data from the African Development Bank showing that Africa’s middle class was growing wealthy, with consumption on the continent rising to more than US$ 41 trillion in the year 2012 from US$ 364 million in the year 2000.

Furthermore, Mr Asinor said, information made available by a McKinsey Report indicated that online shopping could account for 10 per cent of retail sales or US $ 75 billion, with internet access of the African continent reaching 50 per cent by the year 2025.

He said the global growth rate of e-Commerce was 16.8 per cent while Africa’s e-Commerce space was growing at a rate of 25.8 per cent.

This statistics, he said, therefore, presented an opportunity for Ghana to have a fair share of Africa’s new-found wealth and to fully exploit the benefits of adapting to the use of modern technology and trading online.

Mr Asinor said the e-Commerce Expo was, therefore, an avenue to share essential skills and insights that leading organizations were using to effectively exploit the internet, social media and mobile marketing to attract new customers, and to tackle cyber threats that faced online transactions, particularly with emerging electronic payment platforms and cards.

In his remarks, Mr Stephen Osei-Boadi, Head of Digital Marketing, PZ Cussons Africa, noted that the growth of e-Commerce would require effective and trusted platforms, the development of suitable Applications, effective system of distribution and delivery of products and services, and an appropriate regulatory framework.

For his part, Mr Don Chikara, Head of Business Development, OML Africa, predicted a big boom for Ghana’s e-Commerce industry.

Mr Chikara described the industry in Ghana as only a ‘burgeoning’ one and a ‘mushrooming eco-system’ that required the support of all stakeholders in growing it, and appealed to key industry players to fully participate in promoting its growth.

Source: Government of Ghana