Out of 14 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, Ghana is fourth in terms mobile phone penetration.
With a percentage of 127.3%, Ghana is beating Africa’s most populous country Nigeria and also Kenya, with mobile phone penetration of 85.5% and 101.8%, respectively.
According to Fitch Solutions, South Africa is the leader with a 173% rate of penetration in SSA.
It is followed by Botswana with a 150.6% rate of mobile phone penetration.
In 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th places are Gabon (138%), Namibia (113%), Kenya (101.8%) and Zambia (94.8%) respectively.
Nigeria (85.5%), Zimbabwe (83.7%), Tanzania (82%) and Mozambique (51.7%) are placed 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th respectively.
Angola and Ethiopia are 13th and 14th, respectively, with penetration rates of 42.2% and 40.4%, respectively.
For 3G and 4G subscribers, the penetration rate in Ghana is 53.2% and 5.6%, respectively.
This is compared with 57% and 23.4%, respectively in South Africa.
For Botswana and Nigeria, 3G and 4G penetration rates are 54% and 22.5% respectively, and 50.4% and 13.7%, correspondingly.
Fitch analysed that the e-commerce market in SSA is relatively underdeveloped compared to elsewhere in the world, with many households not offering a high enough disposable income level to support the e-Commerce market.
There are also a number of operational obstacles that have hampered e-commerce expansion in SSA.
Payments have proven a barrier to development, with cash on delivery deeply rooted in consumer behaviour in SSA.
However, mobile money is now more commonplace, so digital payments becoming less of an obstacle for e-Commerce development.
COVID-19 Lockdowns Will Normalise E-Commerce In SSA
Fitch added: “We believe that COVID-19 related lockdowns and stay at home orders will necessitate the process of ordering goods and services online, making consumers more comfortable with the process, which will extend beyond the period of lockdowns”.
It explained that for consumer-facing companies, the prohibition of non-essential retail within the bricks and mortar segment will force many firms to shift to expand or break into e-Commerce, with this segment of retail likely to be the main source of revenue for many retailers over a significant period of 2020.