Africa has long been largely ignored by ecommerce companies and western marketplaces. That’s starting to change, it seems, and eBay‘s latest project seems to reflect that. It’s a continent of nearly a billion people and smartphones have changed the web environment. There is a decent commercial opportunity in Africa and we’ll doubtless be writing more and more about that in the months to come.
eBay has launched a partnership with MallforAfrica.com that means Americans can buy from Africa as of this week.
Goods from selected sellers in Africa are now available of eBay.com. The primary focus is on fashion, art, jewelry, and clothing. MallforAfrica has vetted the the sellers and also deals with payments. DHL is taking the strain as the shipping partner. You can view eBay’s MallforAfrica Store here.
Sylvie de Wever is eBay’s General Manager of Latin America and US exports, and she says of the project: “A year ago our focus was about how we could work with a partner to overcome shipping, payment, and trade barriers to offer eBay’s selection in Africa. If you think about our purpose, which is connecting millions of buyers and sellers around the world and creating economic opportunity, it makes sense to open up the American market to sellers in Africa.”
In the first instance the concentration will be on Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Burundi but more countries will be added in due course.
And African shoppers can plug into eBay too with the new eBay MallforAfrica app. As they say: “eBay partnered with MallforAfrica, Africa’s most trusted online retail app based platform to develop this exclusive app. With the ebay app you have access to over 100,000,000 products ready to ship to you in specific African countries.”
It looks like theAfrican continent is becoming a vital commerce frontier. No bad thing.