Digital penetration in Afghanistan
Before we discuss E-commerce and online shopping in Afghanistan it is better to know the percentage of digital penetration in Afghanistan. According to a UN report, Afghanistan is a young nation and 60% of its population are young people. Statista.com shows that in the year 2001 there were only 1000 Afghans who had access to the Internet in Afghanistan. On contrary Afghanistan is in the process of being digitized now and according to Shahzad Aryobee: The minister of ministry of communication information and technology of Afghanistan there are nearly 10 million people who have access to the internet in Afghanistan [read more].
Social Media is widely used in Afghanistan and it worths mentioning that the social media giant “Facebook” is also ruling in Afghanistan and is at the top of the list in terms of its user penetration. According to a social media assessment prepared by Altai consulting for Internews: Social media users represent approximately 9% of the Afghan population and are a homogenous group of primarily young, urban, and educated individuals. Close to 80% of social media users sampled declare being between 18 and 30 years old, and 96% of them can both read and write – in a country where the adult literacy rate stood at 32% in 2011. Yet, socio-demographic circumstances are not the barriers to social media access directly, but rather to internet access more generally as lack of income or illiteracy. Furthermore, the relationship between internet access and smartphone ownership is further confirmed as over 80% of social media users access their accounts solely through their smartphone. In addition, internet service provision remains sparse across the country, especially outside of urban centres. Social media users limit their usage to a few platforms, namely Facebook and instant messaging platforms. 95% of social media users sampled have a Facebook account, compared to other platforms such as Twitter with a 6% usage rate, Instagram with a 10% usage rate.