Kenya has dropped three places in Africa on facilitating online shopping after the score on security of the servers dropped marginally, pointing to rising risks of cybercrime such as hacking.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2020 has positioned Nairobi seventh on the continent in supporting online transactions, a drop from position four a year earlier.
Tunisia, Algeria, Ghana and Libya leapfrogged Kenya to occupy third, fourth, fifth and sixth positons in the index the UNCTAD uses to gauge a country’s readiness to support secure online shopping.
Mauritius and South Africa retained their respective top two positions in Africa, according to the report published yesterday, while Nigeria dropped from third in 2019 to eighth last year.
“To facilitate more inclusive e-commerce, African countries would benefit from catching up in all policy areas,” UNCTAD analysts wrote in the report.
“In the case of Internet access, less than a third of the population in Africa uses the Internet compared to three quarters in Western Asia.”
Kenya’s score on secure internet servers, which act a proxy for e-commerce shops such as Jumia and Safaricom’s Masoko, dropped to 46 from 49 in 2019, but better than 37 a year earlier.
A score closer to 100 signals improvement in policies to support online shopping and vice versa.
Nairobi’s score on reliable postal delivery for goods bought dropped to 46 from 47, while internet penetration remained steady at 82 for the third year.
However, the index on share of Kenyans using internet improved to 23 from 18, but the percentage of internet users shopping online thinned to 19 percent from 24 percent in 2019.
The country’s overall score in the 2020 UNCTAD B2C e-commerce index was unchanged at 49, ranking 88 out of 152 countries covered in the annual survey – also unchanged from 2019.Switzerland leapfrogged the Netherlands to be top the global e-commerce ranking with a score of 95.9 against Amsterdam’s 95.8, with both countries dropping 0.1 and 0.7 points, respectively. At the height of Covid-19 outbreak in April 2020, the UNCTAD had warned of rising unfair, misleading and abusive business practices.