Mozambique - Country Commercial Guide
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General Overview

There were 6.92 million internet users in Mozambique in January 2023. Mozambique’s internet penetration rate stood at 20.7 percent of the total population at the start of 2023. Kepios analysis indicates that internet users in Mozambique increased by 848 thousand (+14.0 percent) between 2022 and 2023. Though the number is small in comparison to other countries, it is growing rapidly thanks to the spread of low-cost smart phones. In 2017, the government approved The Electronic Transactions Law, providing the legal framework for developing e-commerce.

Legal and Regulatory

The e-commerce industry in Mozambique is in its infancy. There are few options available, as many Mozambicans do not have access to credit or debit cards and therefore cannot shop online.

The Bank of Mozambique (or Central Bank) is the leading regulator for e-commerce payments. It is working with commercial banks to establish a national online payment system that will allow local companies to sell products online. This process started in 2018 and has consistently been delayed, severely limiting the advancement of the e-commerce industry.

Market trends point to an increase in cross-border sales as the middle class starts to look outwards for travel and shopping opportunities. Domestic sales have been stagnant due to lack of supporting infrastructure.

Consumer Behavior

Though the country’s underdeveloped infrastructure is a major barrier to access for e-commerce businesses, small enterprises commonly use social media platforms – particularly Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp – to reach targeted groups or individuals. Few local companies advertise online. The bulk of the advertising that is done online consists of banners on websites and social media pages. Some companies have started using YouTube as a platform to reach customers.

True online payment systems remain underdeveloped and unimplemented. Most consumers bridge that gap with mobile money transfer solutions like M-PESA (Vodacom), mKesh (Tmcel), and e-Mola (Movitel). The Central Bank has recently encouraged interoperability of these payment platforms, and it is developing regulations to further facilitate online payments. Some pioneering enterprises are changing consumer habits and making sales online. Examples include Compras and Xava, which offer electronics. Online sales are expected to grow along with the emerging middle class over the coming years.