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Mauritius is the most prepared country in Africa for shopping online, this is according to UNCTAD’s report dubbed Business-to-Consumer (B2S) E-commerce Index for 2018, which was released at the Africa e-Commerce Week in Nairobi.

In the 151-nation global index which was topped by the Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland, Mauritius was placed 55, leading other 43 African countries featured.

UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said.“Africa trails behind the rest of the world in its preparedness to engage in and benefit from the digital economy. Three-quarters of the African population have yet to start using the Internet.”

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“However, the continent is showing progress in key indicators related to B2C e-commerce. Since 2014, sub-Saharan Africa has surpassed world growth on three out of the four indicators used in the index,” he added.

Mr Kituyi added that there was at least 21 million online shoppers in Africa last year, less than 2% of the world total, with Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya – accounting for almost half.

“Nevertheless, the number of African online shoppers has surged annually by 18% since 2014, faster than the world average growth rate of 12%,” he said.

Nigeria was ranked second followed by South Africa,Cape Verde, Gabon, Mauritius and Morocco.

The top three African countries in the index had distinctive strength in each of the four areas measured by the index.

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