JUMIA ADJUSTS ITS E-COMMERCE NETWORK DUE TO CONCERNS OVER COVID-19
To curb the scourge of COVID-19, Jumia adjusts its digital retail network. This comes as the Pan-African e-commerce company with online operations across eleven (11) countries in Africa announced some of the measures deployed on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Lagos headquartered company is also poised to donate certified face masks that will be delivered to health ministries in Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco, Uganda and Ivory Coast, while considering its supply network outside the continent of Africa. While on the other hand, Jumia has reportedly offered African governments the use of its last-mile delivery network service based on the distribution of medical supplies to healthcare workers and facilities.
According to reports, Governments in countries where Jumia operates have started to engage the company based on possible COVID-19 outbreak on the continent, the CEO ‘Sacha Poignonnec’ claim. It’s also understood, the company has also decided to reduce fees on its JumiaPay finance product in a bid to encourage digital payments over the use of cash, which will help curb the spread of COVID-19.
As of last week Thursday, Africa’s COVID-19 cases were still in single digits – a total of 1,321 cases of COVID-19 across Africa coupled with 34 confirmed deaths related to the virus, up from that of Wednesday. With the spike of those numbers, the World Health Organization in a press conference issued a warning.
“About 10 days ago we had 5 countries affected, now we’ve got 30, it’s has been extremely rapid…evolution”. – WHO Regional Director Dr ‘Matshidiso Moeti’
Prior to Jumia’s adjustment, Moeti also noted some challenging socioeconomic factors in the continent, ranging from housing to availability of running water, which has made curbing of COVID-19 challenging, such as frequent hand washing or social-distancing. Adding that, the organization is looking for solutions that are adaptable in Africa’s situations.
As the virus continues to spread coupled with an increase in deaths related to coronavirus, governments in Africa are responding. Africa’s most populous and economic country, Nigeria has announced travel restrictions on the United States, UK, and other countries. In the same vein, South Africa which has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the continent, banned public gathering the latest week coupled with travel restrictions on the U.S.
COVID-19, as we know, is a deadly virus from the family of coronavirus, a cousin of SARS and MERS which previously broke out in China and the middle-East, respectively. But the fear of the current virus outbreak has resulted in severe economic impact and travel restrictions across the globe.
Based on this, Kenya has also imposed crowd and travel restrictions, while the country’s President ‘Uhuru Kenyatta’ urged businesses and Kenyans to opt for digital-payments as a safe means for transactions. A huge boost for fintech startups, e-commerce companies like Jumia. Jumia adjusting its services and collaboration with health ministries in several countries to use its website and mobile platforms to share public messages related to COVID-19 is also a good development.
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