Popularly refered to as the "Amazon of Africa" or "E-commerce giant of Africa", Jumia is an E-commerce company that is providing online retail services and Logistics services across 14 countries in Africa. The company was founded in 2012 in Lagos Nigeria by 2 French and 2 Nigerian Nationals. The company has long grown from being just a multi vendors retail platform to incorporate other services like e-tickets selling,Hotel Bookings,Flight booking,food purchase and delivery, airtime selling and e-payment among others.

The Rise and Fall of the Number one E commerce Platform in Cameroon

Some months back, Jumia was listed on the New York Stock Exchange Market(NYSE) as Jumia Technologies AG. The jingle was rang in all 14 countries the company operates in at the same time that day meaning they were all in accord with it's listing. It became the first African company to have ever made its way into the NYSE,and it also had a high IPO. The initial price of Jumia shares were set at $14.5 USD,but it ended up trading for $18.95 and higher, raising $196 USD million just on the first day of trading. The stock price has been fluctuating ever since then,and at the time of writing this,it stood at $5.85 USD.

Now the buzz that was generated around this milestone was enormous,it made headlines on all news channels and business magazines,as the first African company to be listed on the NYSE, the Amazon of Africa or E-commerce giant of Africa selling with a high IPO,even more than some American and European companies that were also listed on the NYSE at that time. I was also interested in the information, and as someone who love to see the Emergence of Africa in the nearest future,I decided to know more about the listing and the company so as to write an article on it. But I was disappointed half way along the line with the discoveries I made.

Now first of,I discovered that the company Jumia was not "Owned by Africans" as had been portrayed or as I thought, and again,no African on African soil was alowed to buy Jumia shares during this period. Like isn't it strange? That Africans were not given the opportunity to own a share of what is being portrayed as theirs?, It was at this point that I left my article half way.

                                 The Founders of Jumia Group
Jumia was founded in Lagos Nigeria as earlier mentioned by four men,Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara of French origin and ex-Mckinsie consultants, alongside Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Afaedor of Nigeria. Now these four co-Founded Jumia in 2012, but had to part ways in 2014,the 2 Nigerians left the startup after helping to set it up and making it to penetrate into the African market, especially South Africa, Ghana and Egypt. What ever the case was that let to their separation we really don't know,or want to get into that now.But we see a company now which is completely owned by Europeans,with headquarters in Berlin Germany claiming to be the Amazon of Africa. It's evident that the only thing that this company benefits the Africans with is the services they render, because they are more interested in making profit and capital fleet than the economic development of the areas they are operating in. With the exception of few countries with strict economic laws, Jumia has appointed some Africans as country CEOs eg Nigeria and Kenya,but other countries like Cameroon had French General managers who know little or nothing about the terrain,and who are more interested I seeing income generation rather than looking into ways that they can better the company.

Again,they listing the shares of the company in America and excluding Africans from purchasing it's shares is another call for concern. Why did they not list the company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange Board? If MTN a bigger company and one of the biggest share holders of Jumia Technologies could lists it's shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange Board then why could Jumia not do same?  Or Africans are too poor to raise money for their own development? Even at that,why exclude Africans from purchasing shares of the company after it's listing on NYSE?  These are some pertinent questions that runs to mind when I think about Jumia, and makes me to question its motives.

                                  Jumia Cameroom Exits 

Some few weeks back,we woke up to the news of Jumia Cameroon shutting down its doors. And what was their excuse? That they were not making enough profits?. How will you expect a foreign owned entity operating in a country,with a foreign General manager who doesn't master the terrain and habits of the people he's dealing with to continue running a business without profits?, And the interesting part is not only Jumia Cameroon was shut down, several others were too.

 This is happening just 7 months after Jumia Technologies AG was listed on the NYSE, with Jumia Cameroon inclusive, raising up to $196 USD Million just on the first day of its trading. Now does it mean that the money gotten from the sales of Jumia shares could not be used to amiliorate the Cameroon sector ? Or they are more interested in making profits than investing to uplift the E-commerce sector in Africa and be the Amazon of Africa as they claim?. If the business model they've been using is not favoring them,why doesn't they change the model or hand over the management to a national let him/she see how they can revive the company? Like how is it possible for a company with employees just wake up one morning and decide to close their doors and send out hundreds of employees out to the streets with no consideration?

Well things like these are bound to happen when we do not control our narratives. Until we as Africans are strong enough to control our economy,things as such are bound to keep happening to us.

After Cameroon is Jumia Tanzania and Rwanda had been shut down.
Do you think this is the end for the Internet Giant?

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