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One of Africa’s Strictest Covid-19 Lockdowns saw Moroccans Turn to Online

The covid-19 pandemic led to an e-commerce boom in many African countries, but its growth in Morocco has been particularly impressive. With a four-month lockdown in 2020—one of the strictest and longest on the continent—Moroccans had to rely on the internet to purchase almost everything from food, clothing to electronics. By the end of 2020, more than 1,000 e-commerce websites were operating in the country, with 300 of those having started business in the same year. In 2020, e-commerce sites in Morocco saw a 46% increase in transaction volume and 25% increase in amount of money spent compared to the same period in 2019, according to figures from Interbank electronic banking center (CMI), which monitors online transactions in the country. “It was an eye-opening experience to all in the country. Internet users used to go online for fun – to watch videos, chat, play games, read local, and international news, but during the lockdown, it turned into serious business…because it was about the only option available to do shopping and that led to a boom in the industry,” says Rachid Lahbabi, researcher at the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Sciences of Ibn Zohr University in Agadir, southwestern Morocco.