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The e-commerce opportunity in Africa is being driven by some powerful forces, and a dynamic ecosystem is emerging. But the optimism that characterizes the market can create a tendency to overstate the opportunity and overlook the challenges.


  • African e-commerce platforms are on the rise. Africa is becoming a hub for technology innovation, and a small but growing number of local, start-up e-commerce platforms have emerged. They are driving the market and attracting significant investment.
  • A confluence of powerful forces is driving growth in e-commerce. E-commerce in Africa is being driven by some powerful developments that cut across economic, social, technology, and retail dynamics.

Features and Benefits

  • Explains how the e-commerce ecosystem is developing in Africa, including rising e-commerce platforms and the role of mobile money services.
  • Illustrates the key drivers of and barriers to e-commerce in Africa.

Key questions answered

  • What are the key e-commerce platforms in Africa?
  • What role will mobile payments play in driving e-commerce?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

The big picture

  • Confidence in e-commerce is growing
  • A confluence of powerful drivers for e-commerce
  • Multiple barriers need to be dismantled for optimum growth
  • African e-commerce in the global context

An emerging e-commerce ecosystem

  • African e-commerce start-ups are a magnet for investment
  • Close-up on AIG – a pan-African e-commerce leader
  • All-important logistics players are also attracting attention
  • Homegrown payment gateways come to the fore
  • The central role of mobile money and m-payments
  • Close-up on Orange’s e-commerce drive in Africa

Market outlook

  • A promising yet fragmented market
  • Regional scale and efficiencies are hard to achieve
  • Beware of an overheated market
  • Achieving profitability is a major challenge in Africa


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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