A Framework Assessing E-Commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa

Over the past three decades, much of the continent of Africa has been viewed as the “forgotten continent”. With her many problems of hunger, epidemics, war, and other related socio-economic problems, the diffusion of the Internet and related technologies might be the last thing to be associated with Africa. However, we are experiencing the contrary. These countries are experiencing tremendous growth in Internet connectivity, the use of computers, and in the diffusion of wireless communications. Although still at its starting stages, electronic commerce is one of the growth areas for ICTs in Africa. This paper presents a framework for assessing electronic commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa. It describes the nature of the digital divide, and explains the need for the commercial applications of the Internet in developing countries in general. It presents literature on e-commerce frameworks, ICT diffusion, and ICTs in developing countries that shed light on different aspects of e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa. It then presents a consolidating framework that synthesizes these various literature streams, that lays groundwork for a focused body of research in this area.


Okoli, C. and Mbarika, V. (2003). A Framework Assessing E-Commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Global Information Technology Management, Special Issue on E-Commerce and Economic and Social Development, Vol. 6, #3.

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