Best African countries to start an online business

These are some very positive indicators for Africa’s rather nascent e-commerce ecosystem. Also fascinating is the fact that the growth trajectory is expected to continue, due to the following factors, as highlighted by Statista:

  1. Africa’s tech-savvy young population
  2. Africa’s rapidly growing internet penetration and
  3. The availability of widespread digital payment startups enabling e-commerce on the continent.

Using data from UNCTAD’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2020, Business Insider Africa presents the top 10 best African countries to start an e-commerce business.

According to the report, Mauritius remains by far the most prepared country for e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The index scores 152 nations on their readiness for online shopping, worth an estimated $4.4 trillion globally in 2018, up 7% from the previous year. Countries are scored on access to secure internet servers, reliability of postal services and infrastructure, and the portion of their population that uses the internet and has an account with a financial institution or mobile money services provider.

Based on the survey, Mauritius retained the highest score in sub-Saharan Africa. In contrast, the four largest increases in index scores were recorded in developing countries – Algeria, Brazil, Ghana and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Their scores surged by at least five points, largely due to significant improvements in postal reliability.

“To facilitate more inclusive e-commerce, African countries would benefit from catching up in all policy areas. Compared with the 2019 index, there is no global change in the index value,” the report noted.

  1. Mauritius – 58.4
  2. South Africa – 56.5
  3. Tunisia – 54.6
  4. Algeria – 52.2
  5. Ghana – 51.9
  6. Libya – 49.7
  7. Kenya – 49.0
  8. Nigeria – 46.2
  9. Morocco – 44.8
  10. Senegal – 44.1

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