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Ex-Jumia staff launch e-commerce consultancy in Cameroon

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 22 May 2020
The team at the recently established e-commerce consultancy firm Brand Spark.
The team at the recently established e-commerce consultancy firm Brand Spark.

Former employees of Africa-focused e-commerce platform Jumia have launched a consultancy firm Brand Spark to assist operators seeking to enter Cameroon’s e-commerce market and that of the central African sub-region.

Brand Spark also plans to roll out an e-commerce platform in Cameroon before the end of 2020 runs out, according to CEO Simon Mbelek.

Located in the economic capital Douala, Brand Spark employs over ten staff and has been operational since the start of the year.

Mbelek told ITWeb Africa that they want to pass across a strong message of hope to the African and global tech world. “We are convinced, and the time spent in this company (Jumia) allows us to say with conviction that e-commerce is a sector of the future, with lots of opportunities for young Cameroonians and even Africans.”

According to Mbelek, the suspension of Jumia’s e-commerce activities in Cameroon late last year was not as a result of an immature market as many supposed.

Market analysts have suggested Jumia was likely frustrated with the pace of growth of the market and that the company invested too much in marketing and was impacted by having sub-contracted delivery which increased its operational cost.

According to Brand Spark, the country’s e-commerce market is a sector for insiders who master and understand all the links in the chain.

Co-founder in charge of commercial development, Donatien Forbin said. “We will advise prospective operators using figures and available data, train our partners in the use of platforms and management techniques, support and offer them cutting-edge technological tools.”

Besides offering services in the conception and creation of e-commerce platforms and training people in e-commerce operations, Brand Spark will support companies and young entrepreneurs in the development of their brands – from planning to promotion within and outside Cameroon.

In November 2019, Jumia became the third major operator to quit the country after Afrimarket earlier same year and Cdiscount in 2016.

Despite a challenging economic environment and ongoing socio-political tension in parts of the country, Cameroon has proven to be a burgeoning e-commerce market.

In 2018, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications reported that mobile subscription had risen to over 18.8 million (a 39% increase from 2010), representing a penetration rate of 83%, and internet penetration was at 35%.

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