Gabon - Country Commercial Guide

Describes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and covers prominent B2B websites.

Last published date: 2021-10-12

According to the 2021 report published by Global system for Mobile communication Association (GSMA the body that brings together telecom operators in the world) and the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Gabon is a leader in electronic commerce in the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) zone. Gabon is number one with 38.3% of the population prepared for online shopping.

Among the top ten list in Africa concerning Internet speed, Internet service in Gabon is reliable and not considered the most expensive by international ranking. E-commerce is still in its infancy in Gabon, as the country lacks the ICT and online payment infrastructures necessary to boost such sector.  According to the Digital 2020 report for Gabon by Hootsuite, 17% of the population purchases on the internet or pays its bills online, while only 5.9% of the population has a credit card.  Data from the B2C e-commerce index of the UN Conference on Trade and Development estimate that only 6% of the population shops online.  However, the index ranks Gabon 104th out of 151 countries and 12th in the African continent for its readiness and capacity to support online trade.  Among the factors that hinder the growth of e-commerce in Gabon are logistics problems (due to the country’s regional location and poor infrastructure, especially outside bigger towns), a lack of confidence when purchasing online, and the low penetration of online payment methods. In fact, almost all online transactions are paid with cash on delivery, with a smaller share consisting of pick-up and payment in a showroom or physical shop. The main online and mobile payment services are those related with mobile phones, like Airtel money, BICIG Mobile and Mobicash, and BGFI mobile payment.

Among the main online platforms in the country are:

 The number of internet users in Gabon increased by 33 thousand (+2.4%) between 2020 and 2021.There were 1.40 million internet users in Gabon in January 2021. Internet penetration in Gabon stood at 62.0% in January 2021.