Summary of How Online Marketplaces Can Power Employment in Africa

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The internet has driven economic growth in the developed world for quite some time. However critics lament that online retail is putting brick-and-mortar stores out of business and that gig-economy platforms are displacing payrolled workers. Less so in Africa, a Boston Consulting Group report concludes: In underdeveloped and underserved markets, the benefits of online marketplaces vastly exceed potential drawbacks. The report provides a road map for policy makers, economic development consultants and online business owners on how to capture the potential of e-commerce to transform African economies and societies for the better.

About the Authors

Patrick Dupoux, Lisa Ivers, Amane Dannouni, Zineb Sqalli and Guy Ngambeket are expert consultants with the Boston Consulting Group office in Casablanca, Morocco. 

 

Summary

Online marketplaces – digital platforms that connect customers with service providers and sellers of goods – have the potential to boost economic growth and employment throughout Africa. These platforms can improve market efficiency by cutting out intermediaries and by increasing transparency and trust between buyers and sellers through online review mechanisms. Furthermore, online marketplaces help providers maximize their assets. For example, the utilization rate of an Uber vehicle is 30% to 50% higher than that of a conventional taxi. Online marketplaces increase supply in underserved and remote ...


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