(Ecofin Agency) - Mauritius is currently the country which is most prepared for E-commerce in Africa, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) revealed during the first day of Africa E-commerce week being held in Nairobi, Kenya (December 10-14, 2018).
Leader in Africa and 55th in the world, Mauritius shows a good performance thanks to the percentage of its internet users and the percentage of its population that has E-commerce accounts, which is above 50%. There is also a high number of secure internet servers and a postal reliability deemed high by the Universal Postal Union.
Nigeria, the most populated African country is the second thanks mainly to a significant rise in the reliability of its postal services. South Africa comes third ahead of Tunisia, Morocco, Ghana, Uganda, Botswana and Cameroon which are all in the top 10 of the African countries better prepared for E-commerce in 2018.
Though these leaders present remarkable performances, Mukhisa Kituyi, general secretary of the UNCTAD estimates that “Africa trails behind the rest of the world in its preparedness to engage in and benefit from the digital economy. Three-quarters of the African population has yet to start using the Internet".
He explains that there has been "at least 21 million online shoppers in Africa last year, less than 2% of the world's total, with three countries -Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya -accounting for almost half of that number". According to Mukhisa Kituyi, African countries should boost their internet penetration rate to develop e-commerce and, many of them should also ensure that internet users trust online markets for their purchases.
The UNCTAD estimated that in 2017, only 13% of internet users made online purchases in Africa against 68% in developed regions like the European Union.