E-commerce, a factor in promoting social inclusion

E-commerce is a sector with great potential and a powerful tool for promoting social inclusion in Morocco, says a Policy paper from the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS).

“E-commerce has the potential to be a powerful tool for promoting social inclusion, by providing access to goods and services to people previously excluded from the traditional economy, thereby helping to level the playing field rules of the game and provide new opportunities for marginalized groups,” said Youssef Tobi, author of this paper entitled, “E-commerce and digital economy in Morocco, a factor of social inclusion and employment: the context, the approach and the limits”.

E-commerce platforms also offer accessibility features for people with disabilities and a variety of payment options for people who wouldn’t have access to traditional forms of banking, Tobi said.

The international relations specialist noted, however, that e-commerce can also reinforce existing inequalities if not properly regulated and monitored, indicating that it is crucial that policymakers, businesses and other stakeholders work together to ensure that e-commerce is inclusive and accessible to all.

The paper also highlighted the rapid growth of the e-commerce sector in Morocco, particularly in the period of confinement linked to Covid-19, which could greatly benefit consumers and businesses. However, the paper points out, in the absence of proper regulation, the sector can also have negative consequences such as fraud, consumer exploitation and market monopolization.

Therefore, government and regulators are called upon to put in place measures to protect consumers and promote fair competition in the e-commerce sector.

In this regard, the author cited several measures, including enforcing consumer protection laws, monitoring online marketplaces to detect fraudulent activities and implementing measures to prevent large e-commerce companies from use their market dominance to stifle competition. Regarding industry regulations, Tobi said they should be flexible to adapt to the ever-changing nature of technology and e-commerce, noting that by implementing and enforcing these regulations, the e-commerce industry can “continue to thrive while ensuring consumer safety and well-being”.

And to argue that with the continued advancements in technology and the growing number of consumers turning to online platforms for their purchases, e-commerce is expected to continue to grow and evolve over the next few years, more than businesses, including small and medium-sized ones, will need to embrace e-commerce to reach new customers and expand their market.

In addition, the integration of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and blockchain, can also provide new possibilities and benefits to e-commerce, such as personalized shopping experiences, automation logistics and increased security.

Furthermore, the paper recommends harnessing the potential of e-commerce to promote social inclusion by providing training and small loans to vulnerable groups so that they can start their businesses online.

Youssef Tobi also highlighted the importance of encouraging local small businesses to sell globally by helping them go digital, in addition to investing in public regulatory bodies in charge of cybersecurity and privacy. internet security to ensure a secure online environment. He also called for promoting local e-commerce websites and implementing a tax structure for the operation of online businesses, in addition to creating university courses in the fields of software, cybersecurity, to cover market demand. .

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