By D.I Laary / Doris Ablordey, GNA
Accra, Oct. 28, 2016 (GNA) – An e-Commerce expo and summit seeking to transform online business in the country opened in Accra with more than 100 delegates and 2000 exhibition visitors attending on Thursday.
The two-day conference, which is being organised, the third time by OML Africa was on the theme: “Transforming Ghana’s online businesses through technology, innovation, and opportunity.”
The expo also provides a unique platform for more than 30 exhibitors to share and learn from leading online business and security experts and to update their knowledge on the latest trends on e-commerce.
It was to create opportunities for business leaders to build new contacts offline and showcase latest technologies with major players in Ghana’s fast growing online business market.
Mr Paul Asinor, the Event Director of OML Africa, noted that Ghana’s mobile money business ecosystem had expanded tremendously, making it an attractive business avenue for investors.
He quoted latest statistics that showed that the total value of all transactions made on mobile money networks climbed to GH₵ 37.07 billion by July, 2016, representing more than 118 per cent growth since July 2015.
The growth in the value of transactions is also matched by a similar rise in the number of mobile transactions over the same period – rising from 132.5 million to around 265.2 million, indicating 100 per cent jump.
The Bank of Ghana has reported that from July 2015 to July 2016, registered mobile money subscribers increased from 10.4 million to 17.2 million with active subscribers growing to more than 5.3 million.
Mr Asinor urged industry players to take advantage of the new business environment to expand their activities and shore up their profit margins.
The emergence of social media has made business transactions faster and convenient, he said, which used to pose delivery and payment challenges to business transactions in Africa.
He, however, raised concerns over rising cybercrimes, which threatened online business transactions, and called for adoption of robust measures to safeguard businesses.
Mrs Veronica Boateng, the Director of IT Applications of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), said the Agency was poised to introduce results-oriented approaches that would fuel e-Commerce operations.
NITA 2008 Act and the ICT Blueprint, she said, had been initiated to help engineer ICT-led socio-economic development projects.
The initiatives are expected to help transform Ghana into a middle income country through information, knowledge and technology as government was contributing largely towards e-Commerce growth.
“The key drivers of online business including internet, network and legal framework have been provided by the government and the private sector to help speed the growth of the this emerging business”, she said.
E-services and Ghana E-Payment Platform aimed at accelerating online payment services, she said were being implemented by the Agency with the World Bank also committed to financing priority projects.
The Director outlined various infrastructure policies and the establishment of trusted digital identity framework and improving functionality.
She said there were also moves to scale up various government online service portals and portals that provided information and service delivery access as well as developing regulatory framework for electronic transactions.
The e-Commerce conference would see the exhibition of various technologies and solutions.
The expo is said to be the largest gathering of companies and professionals from the electronic commerce industry.