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Kenya’s global online shopping ranking drops on hacking fears

Nairobi has fallen seven positions to 89 in the latest rankings the UNCTAD uses to gauge the environment countries are providing to support online transactions. The UN body has revised downwards Kenya’s 2018 score on secure Internet servers, which act a proxy for e-commerce shops such as Jumia and Safaricom’s Masoko, to 37 from 43 a year earlier.The score on secure server penetration is among three other indicators the UN uses to measure how conducive the environment is to support the adoption of e-commerce.

It is estimated that there were at least 21 million online shoppers in Africa in 2017 or less than two per cent of the world total. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya’s global ranking in supporting online shopping has dropped partly on rising fears of hacking, a fresh United Nations report suggested on Monday, potentially slowing down the march towards a cash-lite economy. Nairobi has fallen seven positions to 89 in the latest rankings the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) uses to gauge the environment countries are providing to support online transactions.The UN body has revised downwards Kenya’s 2018 score on secure Internet servers, which act a proxy for e-commerce shops such as Jumia and Safaricom’s Masoko, to 37 from 43 a year earlier.

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The score on secure server penetration is among three other indicators the UN uses to measure how conducive the environment is to support the adoption of e-commerce.Nairobi’s score on reliable postal delivery for goods bought online also fell to 27 from 37 previously. The closer the ranking is to 100, the higher the score.The country, however, got more marks in levels of Internet access, which improved from 27 to 39, while the score on payment methods rose to 82 from 72 helped by high penetration of mobile money such M-Pesa where Kenya is a global leader.Kenya’s overall score in the 2018 UNCTAD B2C (business to consumer) e-commerce index, however, improved 3.7 to 46.2 compared to last year’s measure, implying a slower pace of improvement compared to other countries globally.The UN has ranked Kenya seventh in Africa in providing a conducive environment for online transactions behind Mauritius which is ranked 55th globally, Nigeria (75), South Africa (77), Tunisia (79), Morocco (81) and Ghana (85).“It is estimated that there were at least 21 million online shoppers in Africa in 2017 or less than two per cent of the world total. Three countries (Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya) together, accounted for almost half of them,” UNCTAD says in the report.“The number of shoppers has surged annually by 18 per cent since 2014, higher than the world average growth rate of 12 per cent.”

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