A new report by International Finance Corporation shows that indeed there is room for Africa to grow its economy through online participation and with the help of more women taking to e-commerce.
The IFC report stated that the e-commerce market on the continent can grow by more than $14.5 billion between 2025 and 2030 if women are given the support and need to see the industry as viable for them. They need to be provided with better training and financial support to help them match sales that men make.
The report, titled Women and e-commerce in Africa, claims that COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of e-commerce and digital entrepreneurship in Africa and that more women are embracing digital business.
However, women still need to overcome several challenges that prevent them from making an adequate impact when it comes to operating in the digital terrain. The report revealed that more women can be targeted with training, and by encouraging them to participate in higher-value segments such as electronics.
Women are also encouraged to take the advantage of what Fintechs have to offer, such as in-platform loans, which women currently access at much lower rates than men in some places. When putting the report together, IFC considered surveys of online vendors such as Jumia in Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Nigeria.
Experts believe that there is more opportunity for growth in e-commerce because Africa is just getting started in this area, so women have a lot to achieve. If done right, Africa can have women entrepreneurs who are leaders of the continent’s digital journey.
Although women are about half of those participating in e-commerce in Africa, they tend to run smaller-scale businesses, they feature prominently in high-competition, low-value segments.