A woman on her laptop. Kenya fell four places in the UNCTAD B2C eCommerce Index 2020.
A woman on her laptop. Kenya fell four places in the UNCTAD B2C eCommerce Index 2020.

Kenya slipped three places to 7th in Africa on the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Business-to-Consumer eCommerce Index 2020 released on Wednesday, February 17. The index ranked 152 countries based on readiness for e-commerce, with numerous data points considered.

Kenya was overtaken by Tunisia, Algeria, Ghana and Libya who occupied third, fourth, fifth and sixth positions respectively on the index.

Africa’s largest B2C ecommerce market, Nigeria, also dropped to eighth from third in 2019.

Mauritius retained top spot in Africa, while South Africa placing second.

A man using a smart phone. Many Kenyans order goods and services online on various eCommerce platforms.
A man using a smart phone. Many Kenyans order goods and services online on various eCommerce platforms.

To rank nations based on their support for online transactions, the UNCATD B2C eCommerce Index 2020 considered parameters including cyber-security, policies and ease of delivery.

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Kenya’s score on secure internet servers fell to 46 from 49 the previous year, pointing to weakened cyber-security measures.

The country’s score on reliable postal delivery of goods also dropped to 46 from 47.

Kenya maintained its strong performance on internet penetration, registering a score of 82.

Globally, Switzerland topped the eCommerce index, replacing the Netherlands which led in 2019. It was the first time Switzerland was topping the list.

In 2019, about 97% of Switzerland’s population used the internet.

The only non-European countries to feature in the top 10 were Singapore (fourth) and Hong Kong (China) which ranked tenth.

The 10 developing countries with the highest scores were all from Asia.

Shamika N. Sirimanne, director of UNCTAD’s division that prepares the annual index, noted that the eCommerce divide remained huge due to various socio-economic reasons.

“Even among G20 countries, the extent to which people shop online ranges from 3% in India to 87% in the United Kingdom,” he noted.

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