High ‘e-friction’ levels in Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa
As Boston Consulting Group points out, all kinds of “e-friction” can limit who participates to the internet economy and to what extent. The company grouped indicators into four components which we will call the 4 I’s:
- Infrastructure (physical limits to basic access including speed, price, traffic, architecture)
- Industry (what prevents e-commerce including infrastructure, labor, capital, economy, technology)
- Individual (constraints to consumer activity including ability, access, banking, trust)
- Information (limitations of online content including sites, data, objectivity, filtering)
BCG then closely analyzed 55 levels of e-friction in a multitude of countries (65 of them to be exact), including South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Egypt, and Nigeria. Ultimately, BCG hopes to give each country the opportunity to determine where efforts to eliminate sources of friction would be best aimed.
On a global playing field, the African nations scored in the bottom half across the four key indicators. Overall, the countries rank in the following order: South Africa (50th), Morocco (54th), Kenya (57th), Egypt (63rd), Nigeria (65th). Highlights include Kenya’s and Egypt’s middle-of-the-pack access to information in addition to South Africa’s fair level of individual access. The main take-away is that even if places like Kenya or South Africa lead Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of internet readiness, these nations have a ways to go if they are to compete on a global level.
The category breakdown shows that African nations range from 33rd position (middle) to 65th (last place).
- Infrastructure: Morocco (54), South Africa (58), Egypt (60), Kenya (64), Nigeria (65)
- Industry: South Africa (33), Morocco (38), Kenya (50), Egypt (59), Nigeria (61)
- Individual: South Africa (42), Kenya (48), Morocco (55), Nigeria (62), Egypt (65)
- Information: Kenya (33), Egypt (40), Nigeria (44), South Africa (52), Morocco (56)
Note: For a country to be included in the index BCG required that data is available for the vast majority of the metrics used.
Source: “Greasing the Wheels of the Internet Economy: A Country-by-Country e-Friction Analysis,” The Boston Consulting Group, 2014.