Wide Angle

2020 e-commerce index : Morocco still lags behind its neighbors

Although it has gained two places compared to the previous edition of this index published annually by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Morocco is lagging behind Tunisia, Algeria and Libya.

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The 2020 e-commerce index, published a few days ago by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ranked Morocco 95th in the world out of 152 countries. This report assesses an economy's readiness for the development of e-commerce, as well as the frequency with which citizens from the 152 countries buy products on the Internet.

Published annually, the index is based on four indices to measure the frequency of Internet use of citizens in their daily purchases. In the previous edition, Morocco was ranked 97th, which means that the Kingdom climbed two spots this year compared to 2019. Morocco also managed to improve its score, which went from 43.4 points out of 100 to 44.8.

As for the sub-indices, the share of people using the Internet in Morocco goes from 65% to 74%, while the percentage of people with an account stands at 29%. Moreover, the percentage of people with secure Internet servers in Morocco drops from 52% to 49% of the population. The postal reliability score continues to fall, dropping from 28% in 2019 to 27% in 2020.

Morocco ranked 12th in the Arab world and 4th in the Maghreb

In the Arab world, the Kingdom ranks 12th, behind the United Arab Emirates (37th worldwide), Saudi Arabia (49th), Qatar (50th), Oman (54th), Kuwait (58th) , Lebanon (64th), Bahrain (66th) and Jordan (76th). It is, however, headed by its three Maghreb neighbors, namely Tunisia (77th), Algeria (80th), and Libya (85th) and ahead of Mauritania, ranked 145th in the world.

In Africa, the Kingdom manages to place itself in the Top 10, occupying the 7th place behind South Africa (73rd), its three Maghreb neighbors, Kenya (88th) and Nigeria (94th).

The index shows that Europe remains the region most prepared for electronic commerce, as only two countries outside the continent were among the Top 10, namely Singapore (4th) and Hong Kong (10th). Thus, Switzerland tops the ranking, followed by the Netherlands (2nd). 

The two European countries are followed by Denmark (3rd), Singapore (4th) and the United Kingdom (5th). The bottom of the ranking is occupied by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (148th), Comoros (149th), Burundi (150th), Chad (151st) and Niger (152nd).

«The divide in the use of electronic commerce remains huge. Even among G20 countries, the measurement gap for the share of online shopping ranges from 3% in India to 87% in the UK», said Shamika Sirimanne, UNCTAD division director. The official added that with the Covid-19 pandemic, «it has become urgent to ensure that lagging countries can catch up and strengthen their e-commerce readiness».

She explained that the index «shows the need for governments to do more to ensure that more people can take advantage of the opportunities of e-commerce», otherwise their businesses and citizens «will miss the opportunities offered by the digital economy and will be less prepared to face different challenges».

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