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    Zimbabwe slips to 118 on global e-commerce index

    By Staff Writer

    HARARE – Zimbabwe has slipped two places to 118 out of 152 economies on readiness to engage in and benefit from e-commerce, according to the 2020 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index. The country’s 2020 Index value stood at 30.05.

    The UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index measures an economy’s preparedness to support online shopping. The index consists of four indicators that are highly related to online shopping and for which there is wide country coverage. The extent to which people shop online in a country is highly correlated with the value of the index, with an adjusted R squared value of 0.79.

    At number 116 in 2019, the southern African nation this time scored badly in areas such as secure internet servers (normalize d, 2019) at 36, share of individuals using the Internet (2019 or latest) at 31 and Universal Postal Union (UPU) postal reliability (2019 or latest) score at 0. However, the share of individuals with an account (15+, 2017) stood at 55.

    Experts raise the need for the southern African nation to boost internet penetration in order to grow e-commerce.

    Only 11 African countries made it in this year’s top 100. Mauritius slipped to 69 from 58 in 2019. Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner South Africa remained unchanged at 73. Tunisia moves down to 77 from 74. Algeria moved up to 80 from 109. Ghana was at 81 from 101. Libya at 85 from 83. Kenya at 88 from 89. One of Africa’s biggest economies Nigeria slid six places to 94. Morocco at 95 from 97. Senegal at 99 from 98. Namibia at 100 from 95 in 2019.

    In the 2020 edition of the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index, Switzerland replaced the Netherlands as the country with the highest readiness to engage in and benefit from e-commerce. European economies dominate the top 10 list, which also features Singapore and China, Hong Kong SAR. At the other end of the spectrum, least developed countries take up 18 of the 20 bottom positions in the index.

    “The wide gaps between countries with the highest and the lowest level of e-commerce readiness point to the need to address weaknesses in the countries trailing behind in order for further digital transformation to bring inclusive development gains,” UNCTAD stated.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new dimension due to quarantine measures that have led to an uptick in e-commerce among those who have the ability to shop online.”

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