For Africa to achieve its goal of improving trade relations with the rest of the world, its governments need to address the challenges of infrastructure development, regulatory frameworks, and digital skills training, Alex Okosi, Managing Director, Emerging Markets, (EMEA) of YouTube, has said.
Organised by Invest Africa, a leading business and investment platform with over sixty years of experience on the continent, and in partnership with Africa Finance Corporation, the event was in its 9th year and focused on Africa’s trade profile through a comprehensive programme of talks, discussions, and networking opportunities.
Speaking at the Africa Debate 2023, held at the Guildhall in London, Okosi said that digital trade has the potential to transform Africa’s economy.
“Collaboration between governments, businesses, and financial institutions is crucial in creating an enabling environment for digital trade. This includes developing regulatory frameworks, financing solutions, and digital infrastructure,” Okosi added.
While speaking during a panel session titled “Building a Comprehensive Digital Trade Strategy for Africa,” Okosi highlighted the challenges facing Africa in terms of digital infrastructure despite advancements in digital trade and e-commerce.
He debated the best path forward for a digital trade strategy, with a focus on the 7th protocol of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on e-commerce.
Joining Okosi on the panel were Michelle Chivunga, a Digital Trade Expert for AfCFTA and Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Global Policy House, who moderated the session, as well as Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, Chief Executive Officer, 4G Capital; Peter Njonjo, Chief Executive Officer, Twiga Foods; Toulay Oueslati, Head of Trade Finance & Commodity Trade Finance, Bank of Africa United Kingdom and Hardy Pemhiwa, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman, Cassava Technologies.
The panel discussion explored the future of African trade and how the private sector can best support and prepare for a more integrated and competitive African trade environment.
Okosi is a highly experienced television, content, and tech executive with over 25 years of experience building successful businesses and brands globally. He has a track record of identifying and scaling new business opportunities, generating multi-million-dollar revenue streams, and delivering profitable growth.
Currently serving as Managing Director, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA, Okosi has been instrumental in driving the platform’s growth across key verticals, including music, gaming, TV/film, kids & family, news, and sports.
In 2022, Okosi was named one of the UK Powerlist’s 100 most influential people of black heritage for the second year in a row.