E-commerce remains a relatively recent industry in Africa, where youth unemployment is still a major political and socio-economic challenge. This is despite the recent strong growth performance of many African countries.
A particular challenge for entrepreneurs has been connectivity to viable markets; where e-commerce presents a potential long-term solution to this problem.
The continent has witnessed a sprouting of such platforms over the past 5 years which has in turn stimulated economic activity and created new jobs.
According to Omolara Adagunodo, Nigeria’s managing director of Jumia Travels, adaptation to local terrain has been among the contributing factors for the retail outlets quick growth on the continent. She however highlighted prevalent challenges for Africa’s e-commerce, which include concerns over cyber security and the fragmented nature of various African markets.
Vivian Onano from the UN’s Global Civil Society Advisory Group also cast an optimistic picture for e-commerce, following the opportunities that digital disruption has presented and its potential in revolutionizing employment opportunities in Africa, with much less capital requirements than before.
So with this in mind, are the young people of the continent capitalizing on the supposed gap in the market that e-commerce offers? And what more is required in Africa to make entrepreneurship available to more young people on the continent?