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E-commerce in Africa is being driven by some powerful trends that cut across economic, social, technology, and retail dynamics. They have converged to drive growth in the African e-commerce market like never before.


  • The drivers of and barriers to e-commerce vary from market to market. This applies to literacy levels, GDP per capita, mobile broadband penetration, regulations for e-commerce, and many other parameters. These disparities are key reasons why the African e-commerce market has such wide variations in state of development.
  • Well-understood, enforceable regulations are critical for the development of e-commerce in Africa because they will help inspire consumer trust and confidence in e-commerce, which is currently lacking and a major hurdle for e-commerce development on the continent.

Features and Benefits

  • Explains the impact that the rising youth population and growing middle class in Africa will have on e-commerce.
  • Assesses the regulatory environment for African e-commerce, including its state of development and the challenges it faces.

Key questions answered

  • What are the most significant drivers of and barriers to e-commerce in Africa?
  • Which barriers are short-term hurdles and which will take longer to resolve?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

Drivers of e-commerce in Africa

  • A convergence of powerful drivers is at work
  • Economic factors
  • Social factors
  • Technology developments
  • Retail dynamics

Barriers to e-commerce in Africa

  • Multiple issues need to be addressed
  • Economic issues
  • Social issues
  • Payments-related issues
  • Infrastructure-related issues
  • Retail issues
  • Regulatory issues

Market outlook

  • M-commerce will gather momentum
  • Powerful drivers are countered by some long-term challenges
  • Keeping a level head about African e-commerce


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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