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  • ***The just concluded Africa Trade Forum 2018 accentuated the point that there is a change underway of notable significance in the African Union, in particular, and more broadly on the Continent regarding the AfCFTA *** “While rules-based trade remedy safeguards are a necessity to countervail trade cheat & injurious trade behaviour by some trading counterparts, protectionism as an approach & objective to trade & economic policy is a dead-end. Protectionism does not protect.” - Amb. Osakwe at the Nigerian Institute for International Affairs’ one-day conference on Nigeria & the African Union Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) *** Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah launches the Technical Working Group to prepare an assessment and readiness report on the AfCFTA for Mr. President *** President Buhari inaugurates committee to assess the impact and readiness for the AfCFTA *** President Muhammadu Buhari identifies Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN), Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council as key structural reforms in the Nigerian economy ***


To accelerate growth and modernize the Nigerian economy, Nigeria is developing a digital-led growth strategy for the Nigerian economy: “The Smart Nigeria Digital Economy Project”. The objective of this project is to solve efficiency problems and create leap frog opportunities in the economy, improve competitiveness and foster technology development and innovation more generally. “The Smart Nigeria Digital Economy Project” is our response to an area of intense economic and technological activity by Nigerian youths, where there is a growing pool of talent. It is a sector of the economy where the private sector already has ownership. The role of government would therefore be to ensure a sound soft regulatory environment and hardware infrastructure to foster rapid growth of this area. E-commerce is an area of global investor confidence in Nigeria. The figures show that Nigeria is one of the leading IT markets in Africa, where there has been a rapid surge in the development of e-commerce businesses. According to Euromonitor International Market Research, e-commerce advancements have been most notable in Nigeria because of the surge in telecom investments and smartphone purchases which have fuelled growth in internet usage from 20% in 2009 to 41% in 2014. According to Euromonitor International data, Nigeria has the largest online market particularly for apparel and footwear in Africa, which is expected to grow from US$104 million in 2014 to US$1,077 million in 2019, due to the dynamic development of trusted e-tailers, Jumia and Konga. Digital economy activities are key for diversification because they are systemic. Software development solves local economic problems, with local content; expanding knowledge and education in the process and deepening integration with the global economy. The relevance of the internet economy are the spin-off benefits for the modernization and diversification of the Nigerian economy; and, solving efficiency losses. The objectives of the Smart Nigeria Project, include: