E-Commerce in West Africa

February 17, 2021 | by: David Kodjani

With a penetration rate of the Internet by 36% in 2020, the Africa West now occupies the3rd region of the globe less connected to the Center and East Africa.

In terms of technological development, Africa is lagging behind. From the rate of insertion of the internet to online payment solutions, the evolution has been notable over the past 5 years, but not enough. West Africa version 2021 is only partially digital, this is mainly explained by the inaccessibility of the connection. Either its cost is high, or it does not cover enough area.

The impact of the Internet boom and the strong mobile penetration on the habits of African consumers should not be overlooked. With an Internet penetration rate of 36% in 2020, West Africa now ranks 3rd world region the least connected to the Center and East Africa. The logistical, technological and structural challenges facing this sector are forcing many e-commerce players to shut down. No need to recall the short adventure on the continent of Cdiscount, African Shop and Afrimarket.

The challenges are colossal in nature due to a still immature market, still low internet penetration, operational complexities and financial issues facing start-ups with large capital. African e-commerce has not yet kept all its promises and for the various players, the time has come for strategic reflection on the future of this sector in an African context.

For the time being, the main obstacle facing electronic commerce is the low penetration of the internet in the habit of Africans. The more mobile users and Internet users there are, the better the e-commerce ecosystem will be.

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