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A realistic look at e commerce
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A realistic look at e commerce

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  • 1. What’s E-Commerce Take? Eric S Johnson, Internews (dot-GOV, GIPI) johnson@internews.tv Kigali COMESA ICT Forum 2 September 2004
  • 2. Why e-commerce?• Consumer benefits – More competition drives down prices – Wider selection – Convenience (less travel)• Business benefits – New market opportunities (global reach) – Increased transaction efficiency (faster, more automated)• Government benefits – Happier consumers and businesses – More trade means more (income tax) revenue
  • 3. E-commerce prerequisites1. Wired buyers & sellers2. E-payment systems3. Legal bases4. Delivery mechanisms
  • 4. 1. Wired buyers & sellers• Low-cost telecommunications services• Greater access to computers• Easy access to domain names• Multilanguage standards make it easier for e-commerce in local language
  • 5. 2. E-payment systems• E-payment mechanisms – Electronic funds transfer – Wider adoption of credit cards – Local “payment mechanism middlemen” – Taxation benefits?• Buyers’ confidence in the system – Cybersecurity – Privacy – Encryption
  • 6. 3. Legal bases• Define online “signature” as equivalent to an offline one• Recognise electronic documents as valid in legal proceedings• Carriers’ liability exemption• UNCITRAL model• Public Key Infrastructure
  • 7. 4. Delivery mechanisms• Delivery of goods or services – Online: minimal or no content control – Offline: reliable parcel delivery
  • 8. E-commerce is hard!• Many prerequisites• Productivity driver• E-government is in many ways just a subset of e-commerce• Many other complications, e.g. – Jurisdiction – IPR – Dispute resolution
  • 9. Conclusions• Change is unavoidable• Most e-commerce prerequisites follow from making the right domestic policy decisions – Get policy right – Telecom/internet build-out follows• Avoid undue restrictions on internet – Content control – Voice revenue support understandable but harmful• Government can lead by implementing e-gov – Develops the market – Leads to better government
  • 10. Further resources• GIPI at www.internetpolicy.net• GBDE at www.gbde.org• UNCITRAL at www.uncitral.org• ABA at www.abanet.org/buslaw/cyber• EU at europa.eu.int/ISPO/ecommerceAnd many more.