skip to main content
Close Icon

In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. This is done using simple text files called cookies which sit on your computer. By continuing to use this site and access its features, you are consenting to our use of cookies. To find out more about the way Informa uses cookies please go to our Cookie Policy page.

Global Search Configuration


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

Recommended Articles


Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700

Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

+44 (0) 207 551 9047 - Operational from 09.00 - 17.00 UK time

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 7770704398 or email us at

Contact marketing -

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now