Jumia steps in to assist Africa amid rising coronavirus numbers
Jumia, the pan-African ecommerce firm which delivers online goods in 11 countries, announced a series of measures on Friday to help curb the spread of coronavirus across the continent.
Initially one of the areas less affected by the virus, Africa has approximately 1,400 Covid-19 cases across 43 countries, according to recent report from AfricaNews.
“About 10 days ago we had five countries affected, now we’ve got 30,” the World Health Organisation’s regional director Dr Matshidiso Moeti said on Thursday. “It’s has been an extremely rapid […] evolution.”
Amid these growing numbers, Nigeria-based Jumia has said it will use its supply chain links outside Africa to donate certified face masks to health ministries in Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Uganda.
These ministries, plus ones, in Egypt, Ghana, and South Africa, will also be able to use Jumia’s online platform to share important health messages.
It also said it would help Africa’s governments to distribute these masks to hospitals and other healthcare facilities, by leveraging its last mile delivery network.
The company also promises to use its platform “to distribute health pamphlets and key products where they are needed […] including remote and rural areas […] especially for elderly and sick people at home”.
As for Jumia’s own ecommerce platform, it has “waived the commission on specific sanitary products”, and it has introduced “special discounts” for all payments done via JumiaPay to promote cashless transactions.
“We are proud to partner with relevant authorities to help fight against Covid-19 and assist our communities which continue to support us,” says Jumia’s group head of institutional affairs Juliet Anammah.
“Ecommerce platforms like ours, with e-payment and last mile delivery capabilities, are uniquely positioned to be part of Africa’s response strategy to this pandemic and we are swiftly taking actions,” she adds.
Jumia’s CEO Sacha Poignonnec tells TechCrunch that the company is reviewing other assets it can offer to help the continent as the virus spread. “If governments find it helpful we’re willing to do it,” he says.