What they are called Glovo, Jumia Food, Rapidos, Mr D Food, Diva 228, Hello, Group, or Deliver Addis : these companies of delivery of meals and shopping at home are making a real hit on the continent. In fact, if the epidemic has not caused the devastation feared in Africa, the continent is not immune to the dark predictions on the impact it will have on the economies. The closure of markets so important on the continent and the constraints imposed on the flow of goods and people have affected the retail trade. But in regards to e-commerce, the testimony gathered by the AFP and other local media from operators suggest that the home delivery is doing its revolution in Africa. Tour of the horizon.
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To avoid long queues in front of bakeries in Dakar during the outbreak of coronavirus, the Senegalese can deliver their bread at home. The initiative "Jayma Mburu", or "Sell me the bread", has been launched by the ministry of Trade in partnership with private companies. © SEYLLOU / AFP
Illustrations in Senegal
sugar, milk, coffee, dates, cheese... Seydou Sall is sprinkled with antiseptic bags of food just deposited with him by one of these companies. This researcher in the corporate world who lives in an upscale neighborhood of the senegalese capital was in the hands of e-commerce, as a number of consumers growing up under the effect of the pandemic. "The home delivery allows me to avoid the contacts and tails. In three clicks, I have my order and I only pay 2 000 CFA francs ", that is 3 euros, for delivery, he said, mask on the face.
The senegalese authorities have restricted the movement and the opening of markets and shops. Add to this the fear of contagion, and Seydou Sall has entrusted its procurement to Rapidos. The platform provides business. "Rapidos was created two years ago as a site of delivery ", says one of its leaders, Mohamed Badiane. "With the coronavirus and the difficulties to move, a platform of online sales has been added in partnership with supermarkets, bakeries, operators of products such as fruit and vegetables, meat. "Since then," the deliveries at home have increased by 90 %, primarily products related to ramadan such as sugar, dates and milk ", he explains.
Effect of dopant of the crisis of the Covid-19 ?
However, the apparent absence of study or specific data urges caution as to the profitability or sustainability of the phenomenon, in an african context is complicated for this activity. Jumia, a giant in the sector in Africa, known in Côte d'ivoire to an "explosion of orders for the supermarket, food and hygiene products," says its director-general in the country, Francis Dufay. The orders are triple what they are in normal times, he says.
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The strong impact of the purchase online
The online business progressed already significantly in Africa with the advent of the Internet, the development of the middle class, urbanisation and the youthfulness of the population, while remaining distant from what it is elsewhere in the world. Unctad, a UN body, was the end of 2018 to at least 21 million the number of online shoppers in Africa in 2017. It is less than 2 % of the world total, while the share of the population is estimated to be approximately 17 % of that of the planet. Half of these consumers was concentrated in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. The number of buyers has increased each year from 18 % for 2014, faster than the global average of 12 %, but the online business was less than 0.5 % of africa's GDP, far from the world average of more than 4 %, noted Unctad.
The e-african trade in question
The e-commerce in Africa is attracting investors. But they must overcome significant barriers : limited access to the Internet, limited purchasing power of the middle class, poor infrastructure, distrust of online payments and, by opposition, pre-eminence of markets and transactions in cash. With the gaps in the naming of streets, to transport the goods at the destination is a challenge. Major players such as Amazon to stay away from the e-commerce in Africa. Others adapt their practices to the environment. Jumia has developed an entire fleet of deliverymen, but is struggling to make a profit.
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During the containment the company Onecart has evolved and increased its scope by linking partnerships with more retailers in south africa such as Woolworths, Pick ' n Pay, Dis-Chem and Clicks. © DR
A revival thanks to the Covid-19
The Covid-19 will be allowed to pick up more sustainably from past clients, and phishing new, say the operators. "The fact that people are not able to get out, has led to increased knowledge and curiosity about our services for online sale and delivery," said Jerobeam Pengevally Mwedihanga, owner of Tambula Online Shop, site of sale of commodities in Namibia. "One has the impression that it has managed to gain the loyalty of customers who have discovered e-commerce ", is full of Mr. Dufay, at Jumia. The medal has its reverse, depending on the country, the severity of the containment or the products sold. The coronavirus has been "a big blow" to the restore commands, says Maguelonne Biau, executive director of Glovo in Côte d'ivoire, where the company employs approximately 400 drivers. "Our activity in the supermarket has increased, but we can't say that it compensates. It has drawn a line on everything that was in the restaurant with the curfew, " she said. People staying home, " became a cook ", diagnostic Salmi Shigwedha, owner of Garden Inn, delivery driver for meals in Namibia.
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