SA digital economy 'best in Africa'

accreditation
E-commerce. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
E-commerce. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - South Africa's digital economy is the most developed in Africa and one of the fastest growing in the world, according to an index released on Wednesday.

SA, Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria were moving toward digital evolution, according to the MasterCard Digital Index.

Developed by the company and the Fletcher School at Tufts University, it tracks a country's movement toward digital evolution, gauges progress and assesses problems.

SA ranks 33 out of the 50 countries measured in digital readiness, defined by the markets' ability to support and encourage digital commerce and payments.

In Africa, the country ranks ahead of Egypt (48), Kenya (49), and Nigeria (50) and has also emerged as the fourth-fastest growing digital economy behind China, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Ted Iacobuzio, MasterCard vice president of global insights, said South Africa's speed of growth could be attributed to several factors.

These were the "rapidly increasing proportion" of people with internet access, an 86% adult cellphone penetration rate, and a highly developed telecommunications network.

"However, what is significant is that all four of the African countries measured share a common trait of moving at a high rate of speed toward digital evolution, demonstrating huge growth potential for e-commerce," he said.

Iacobuzio said: "There are currently 2.9 billion internet users in the world, a feat that took over 20 years to achieve. The next billion users will enter the market much faster than this.

"A significant proportion of these will come from Africa, where the four countries studied - Egypt, Kenya, SA and Nigeria - all represent exceptional growth potential coupled with short-term opportunity."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
14.18
+0.2%
Rand - Pound
19.76
+0.5%
Rand - Euro
16.94
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.75
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.1%
Gold
1,777.10
-0.1%
Silver
25.98
+0.4%
Palladium
2,650.76
+1.4%
Platinum
1,101.50
+1.0%
Brent Crude
75.19
+0.5%
Top 40
60,188
+0.7%
All Share
66,264
+0.7%
Resource 10
63,672
+1.1%
Industrial 25
87,124
+0.4%
Financial 15
13,010
+0.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Should government have assigned a majority shareholding in SAA to the private sector?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, It's a good decision
70% - 662 votes
Not a good move
9% - 84 votes
Too early to tell
21% - 204 votes
Vote