Ivory Coast’s biggest online retailer will enable consumers to buy goods from international markets for the first time next month as it seeks to tap a shopping boom in one of sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest-growing economies.
Jumia, an internet platform whose investors include Berlin-based Rocket Internet SE and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is expanding its Ivory Coast operation by adding imports from Asia and Europe, managing director for the country, Francis Dufay, said in an interview in the commercial capital, Abidjan. The retailer is also recruiting local shopkeepers to sell directly via its platform as “the more vendors you have, the wider your assortment of goods and the more interesting you become for a wide range of people,” he said.
Ivory Coast has emerged as the most successful of Jumia’s 11 African markets on a per capita basis, according to Dufay, who added that sales volumes in the West African country are growing at between 25 percent and 30 percent per year. Customers range from middle-class civil servants to minimum-wage domestic workers, while the availability and affordability of smartphones has made online shopping easier.
The company has been able to…