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Online sales platform eBay has partnered with e-commerce start-up MallforAfrica, in a move that gives American sellers access to Africa’s fastest-growing consumer markets.
The new, collaborative platform ‘will enable inventory from all eBay US individual and business sellers with a 300+ star rating to be purchased by buyers in Nigeria and Kenya from July 2016,’ said eBay Business Development Director Fernando Saiz.
Ghana and additional countries are set to follow, insists MallforAfrica CEO Chris Folayan who launched the site in 2011. ‘We are creating a unique “eBay Powered by MallforAfrica” app to run on all our platforms. When buyers in Africa shop with this app, they’ll be able to shop on eBay, buy what they want, check out, and pay through MallforAfrica,’ said Folayan.
MallforAfrica, which is backed by UK private equity firm Helios Investment Partners, will manage logistics, shipping and delivery via its own product processing centre in Portland, Oregon. The site will also accept local currency and digital payments from M-Pesa in Kenya and Paga in Nigeria, which will convert to dollars for eBay vendors.
‘The experience will be seamless for a US based seller and will feel as though they are selling to a US buyer,’ said Saiz, who also confirmed that eBay has not taken any equity stake in MallforAfrica.
‘Working with MallforAfrica will enable more of our sellers to reach more African consumers, and for more African consumers to access the products that they want but cannot find locally,’ he adds. ‘Our goal is to connect people around the world through commerce wherever they may be.’
Africa’s iGDP (internet’s contribution to GDP) is expected to grow to at least 5 per cent by 2025, matching leading online economies such as Sweden, Taiwan, and the UK.
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