Kenya has taken the seventh position in a survey gauging the African countries’ preparedness to support online business. This a drop from position four in 2020. Tunisia, Algeria, Ghana, and Libya trumped Kenya to take positions three, four, five, and six respectively.
The United Nation’s Conference on Trade and Development’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce Index 2020 ranked the countries with Mauritius and South Africa retaining their top two positions. Nigeria also dropped from the third position in 2019 to position eight in 2020, the report showed.
“To facilitate more inclusive e-commerce, African countries would benefit from catching up in all policy areas,” UNCTAD analysts wrote in the report.
“In the case of Internet access, less than a third of the population in Africa uses the Internet compared to three quarters in Western Asia.”
The drop was attributed to the rise in cases of cybercrime after Kenya’s score on secure internet servers dropped from 49 in 2019 to 46 in 2020 but better than 37 in 2018. The greater the number the better the score. These servers are the backbone of many e-commerce companies such as Jumia.
Kenya’s internet penetration remained steady at 82 percent for the third year. There was however a drop in the reliability of postal delivery goods from 46 to 47 last year.
The index also showed an improvement in the share of Kenyans using the internet, from 18 to 23, but showed a drop in the percentage of internet users shopping online from 24 percent in 2019 to 19 percent in 2020.
Overall, Kenya maintained its position in the 2020 UNCTAD B2C e-commerce index at 49, ranking 88 out of 152 countries that are covered in the survey conducted annually.
Switzerland edged out the Netherlands to take the top spot in the global e-commerce ranking scoring 95.9 against Amsterdam’s 95.8, a 0.1 and 0.7 drop for both countries respectively. UNCTAD warned of unfair, misleading and abusive business practices arising at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020.