Gabon leads e-commerce in the ECCAS zone ahead of Cameroon and Rwanda, according to GSMA


According to the report just published by GSMA (the organization that brings together telecom operators in the world) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Gabon is the leader in e-commerce in the ECCAS zone (Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe) for the year 2019.

The report states, "ECCAS member states lag behind many of their regional peers in their readiness to engage in and benefit from online shopping. The top four ranked sub-Saharan African countries are Kenya (88), Nigeria (79), South Africa (76) and Mauritius (58). However, the 11 ECCAS member states are not among the top 100, with Gabon being the highest ranked (106). In terms of index value, four ECCAS states (Gabon, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Angola) score higher than the Sub-Saharan African average (29), but considerably lower than the global average (55)".

In the top five, Gabon is number one in ECCAS with 38.3% of the population prepared for online shopping. In order of importance: Cameroon (32%), Rwanda (30.9%), Angola (30.4%) and Congo (14%).

UNCTAD's Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Index assesses the readiness of 152 nations for online shopping, based on four indicators: number of adults with an account in a financial institution or a mobile money account; number of individuals using the Internet; reliability of postal services; and number of secure servers per 1 million inhabitants.

The UN agency notes that the state of e-commerce services in ECCAS is, however, affected by several factors that potentially limit their ability to develop. These include lack of access to and cost of mobile Internet services for large segments of the population (especially low-income segments), limited use of digital payment services, inadequate addressing systems in some urban and most rural areas, bottlenecks in customs clearance and international trade in general, and a difficult business and macroeconomic environment for e-commerce start-ups.

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