The World Bank in a 2019 joint research with e-Commerce giant, Alibaba, reaffirmed the huge benefits of e-Commerce as a potent instrument for job creation, improved quality of human life and economic growth in developing countries.
The report titled, ‘E-Commerce Development: Experience from China’, stated that e-Commerce can create jobs directly or through logistics services and other aspects of the wider e-Commerce ecosystem. It added that e-Commerce could improve household consumption, boost rural economies and reduce inequality especially among people in rural communities.
Jumia, the pan-Africa leading e-Commerce platform, exemplifies this assertion over the last eight years of its operation in Nigeria and 10 other African countries; its footprints in employment creation, business sustainability for MSMEs and economic growth have been phenomenal.
Jumia’s consistent investment in physical and network infrastructure and manpower remains a significant contributor to the growth of Nigeria’s economy and that of Africa as a whole by promoting adoption of online shopping, digital payment, logistics and supply value chain as a lifestyle among the people.
In the wake of the lockdown occasioned by Coronavirus pandemic, Jumia remained the lifeline, keeping alive the soul of many businesses – micro, small and medium enterprises and large corporations by enabling retailers to meet end-to-end demand-supply chains. Its array of innovative solutions namely logistics and supply value chain, marketplace, online payment channel and contactless delivery of essentials to people at home made this possible.
With its established partnerships, QSR and kitchens operators and producers of agricultural produce especially groceries, and manufacturers of essentials like toiletries, sanitary wares, water, beverages, pharmaceuticals and non-essentials like electronics/electrical appliances were able to move their inventories. Manufacturing concerns like Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever, Procter & Gamble and several MSMEs and startups didn’t have to completely shut down operations.
By keeping businesses running during COVID-19 lockdown, Jumia helped to preserve jobs for many production workers who would have been laid off in the event of factory shutdown. It also created job opportunities for many Nigerians within its logistics/supply value chain, who worked as last mile delivery agents, drivers and bike riders.
Jumia’s fintech solution, JumiaPay has continued to bolster Federal Government’s cashless and financial inclusion initiatives as more Nigerians now place orders and pay online for goods. Money transfer, airtime recharge/top-up and payments of utility bills are now done seamlessly on JumiaPay platform.
In celebration of its eight years, Jumia has also rolled out incentives to further strengthen national economic growth. Speaking during the annual Sellers’ Conference, which held virtually on Saturday, June 6, 2020, Jumia Nigeria CEO, Spalazzi, urged sellers on the e-Commerce platform to take advantage of the anniversary to boost sales for their businesses during COVID-19 era.
He said, “This is an unprecedented time for a seller to be online. Just to give you a grasp of the milestone achieved by Jumia only in the month of May. We recorded the daily highest number of sellers with at least one sale across the full year; we recorded the daily highest number of buying customers across the full year; we recorded the daily highest number of individual products purchased on the platform since the beginning of the year. What I have listed means that more people are actually coming on the platform at a faster pace than expected and buying all sorts of products and varieties across categories.”
Spalazzi noted that COVID-19 has made e-Commerce a veritable channel to boost businesses and the Jumia anniversary campaign will be a catalyst for sellers to raise the bar of their sales to the next level.
He stated further that the anniversary also provides an opportunity for Jumia to serve the needs of its consumers who want to shop more in complete safety from their homes, by providing them two most important things: best prices and wider assortment. With the theme, “Stronger Together”, the 8th anniversary holding from June 22nd till July 15th, 2020 is one of Jumia’s biggest annual commercial events.
Jumia’s eight years of impact affirms the World Bank’s position on the enormous potential of e-Commerce as a key economic growth driver in Africa. “China’s experience shows that developing countries can harness digital technology and e-Commerce to create jobs and improve people’s lives,” said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific.
China’s e-Commerce market is one of the largest and fastest growing in the world, accounting for more than 40% of the total value of e-Commerce globally. More than 5% of total employment in China is in e-Commerce, as online purchases have become part of daily life for many Chinese households.
Ezedi Udom, a Business Communications Expert writes from Lagos
BUA SUGAR REFINERY LATEST: TRADE & INDUSTRIES MINISTER ADEBAYO REVERSES EARLIER DIRECTIVE ON SUGAR IMPORTATION FROM FREE TRADE ZONES INTO NIGERIA
Days after, sending out an earlier letter to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed prohibition the importation of sugar from free trade zones, in Nigeria, the Minister of Trade Industries and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo has backtracked and reversed himself.
Adebayo, acting on a controversial petition written to him by the Chairman Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote and Chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC, Mr John Coumatros had written a letter which he copied the Managing Director Nigeria Ports Authority, Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation prohibiting the importation of sugar from the country’s Free Trade Zones. This move was targeted at BUA sugar refinery as well as investments.
Recall that BUA Group Chairman, Samad Rabiu had reacted to the petition by revealing that his investments in sugar, especially the Port Harcourt project did not pose any threat to the country’s sugar policy. According to Samad Rabiu, his was project indeed, meant to checkmate arbitrary increase in prices and which will ultimately benefit the ordinary Nigerian on the street.
Curiously, some agencies of the Federal Government especially the NPA, had acted on the Minister’s directive by directing all Terminal operators to ensure strict compliance with the Minister’s order, despite a court injunction refraining not only the Ministry but all government agencies from disturbing it’s operations pending the determination of a suit filed by BUA group.
The move to disrupt BUA’s activities depsite the injunction clearly embarrassed the government, hence Adebayo’s quick reversal of his earlier stance and letter to the Finance Minister directing that the action be stopped.
As for Hadiza Bala Usman who was in a hurry to overlook the court order, she has since been suspended from office as the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority while an Acting CEO has been appointed in person of Mohammed Koko, the erstwhile Executive Director, Finance and Administration.
THE COMPLICITY OF NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER IN CORRUPTION AND BANDITRY IN ZAMFARA STATE
During the 8-year reign of former Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State , there is hardly a week the state is not in the news for either killings of scores of Zamfarans or kidnapping of them in large numbers. So bad it was during his tenure that the only presence of security is the escort services provided by security agents for workers on Yari’s farm.
It is despicable and rather unfortunate that a man who is battling to clear his name from many allegations of fraud and unprecedented corruption in Zamfara is seen flying around in a Nigerian Airforce Jet.
Mungono’s lackluster performance to rejig the security architecture which has led to breakdown of law and order has portrayed the Presidency in bad light as failing in its duty to provide security and welfare of its citizenry.
The approval of the use of NAF jet by Abdulaziz Yari which allegedly came from the office of the National Security Adviser further lent credence to the claims among Nigerians that the APC-led government is not serious about fighting corruption and insecurity.
Assuming without conceding that Yari facilitated the use of the aircraft on his own, one wonders an emergency situation that would warrant a former governor enjoying such luxury even when the allegations of corrupt enrichment is still hanging on his neck.
The National Security Adviser has yet again confirm the call for his removal over incompetence and that the reason for his call and advise for the declaration for a “No fly Zone” in Zamfara is unprofessional, partisan and may not be to secure the country as he would want people to believe.
By Hamid Shinkafi
Public affair analyst
Rural Resident Expresses Satisfaction On Jumia Service Delivery
At the current pace, there’s no denying the improved fortune of eCommerce in Africa. Even the most ardent doubters of eCommerce viability on the continent will accept that the online shopping business is gaining momentum on the continent, contrary to their forecast and expectations.
Major African markets like Nigeria and Kenya are improving their internet penetration while the number of mobile phone users is rising exponentially. This, in turn, is boosting the online market entrants in urban locations and gradually rubbing off on rural settlements.
As a result, the conversation around eCommerce in a major market like Nigeria has gravitated from doubts on feasibility and acceptance to quality of service delivery, customers expectations and satisfaction. With at least 87 e-commerce platforms in Nigeria, the online shopping community is increasing by the day with innovation and bespoke approaches to address the challenges of the market and meet customers expectations.
In the thick of this, some customers are already having a glimpse of what eCommerce offers at its peak, thanks to the effort of key market players. Iteshi Prince Izuchukwu, a businessman based in Rivers State said he likes shopping online because of the price slash. Based on his experience with several online shopping platforms, he was quick to acknowledge the extra effort of Africa’s market leader on its quality of service delivery. “Things I order include Television, Wristwatches and others. When I buy these items on Jumia, they deliver on time and in good condition,” he stated.
In today’s market where customers demand value for every penny spent, a well thought out packaging that meets the aesthetic taste of the customers can spell a huge impact on the eCommerce business. It can help reduce the volume and cost of return, foster customer loyalty and put the brand in the face of prospects. “I always feel happy when what I ordered is being delivered to me. And as a businessman, I want value for money which I can say I am getting on a platform like Jumia,” Izuchukwu said.
With continuous effort by eCommerce brands to meet customers’ quality, timely and packaging expectations in their service delivery, testimonials like this will go a long way in getting more people onboard the online shopping train.
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