Africa’s e-commerce market could grow by more than $14.57bn between 2025 – 2030, a research by the International Finance Corporation has shown.
Published on Thursday, the report, ‘Women and e-commerce in Africa’, stated that the feat could be achieved by increasing the number of women selling on online platforms and by providing them with better training and financial support to help them match sales made by men.
The COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of e-commerce and digital entrepreneurship in Africa, it noted while pointing out that more women have embraced digital business.
It, however, said more could be done to promote women entrepreneurship and help them overcome e-commerce challenges.
The report found that e-commerce marketplace platforms were well-positioned to target women-owned businesses with training, and to encourage women’s participation in higher-value segments such as electronics.
Women could also strengthen their businesses by taking advantage of emerging fintech offerings, such as in-platform loans, which women currently access at much lower rates than men, it added.
The IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, Sérgio Pimenta, said, “E-commerce in Africa is thriving, yet we are already seeing a widening gender gap in the sector. IFC’s report not only highlights the gap, but also shows how it might be addressed so that women entrepreneurs can succeed in this important and rapidly growing marketplace.”
The Chairwoman, Jumia Nigeria and Group Head of Institutional Affairs, Juliet Anammah, stated, “It is absolutely essential for women to be factored in, given the future of e-commerce. Africa is just at the start of its e-commerce growth trajectory. Now is the time to ensure women entrepreneurs are the leaders of Africa’s digital journey.”
The report also found that women comprise half of all active e-commerce vendors in Africa, running smaller-scale businesses and featuring prominently in high-competition, low-value segments.
The research was undertaken by Digital2Equal, an IFC-led initiative conducted in partnership with the European Commission, which brought together 17 leading technology companies operating across the global online marketplace to boost opportunities for women in emerging markets.
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