Vinod Goel, CEO of Jumia Uganda has disclosed the eCommerce giant's plans to extend its services into rural Uganda. The company plans to facilitate this expansion through JForce, its offline sales program.
Goel was speaking at celebrations to mark 11 years of Jumia's Ugandan operations when he disclosed the company's plans.
"Uganda, with its unique population distribution and demographics, presents a significant opportunity for eCommerce growth. The rural consumer, who often faces challenges in accessing quality products at competitive prices, is at the heart of this opportunity."
Jumia's expansion plans are contained in the Expansion Project Report, whose details are not yet available to the public.
Although it is not not clear when this expansion will take place, it is worth noting that eCommerce startups on the continent are not having the best time currently. Copia Global, an eCommerce startup that specifically targets customers who may not access traditional eCommerce services recently shut down its Ugandan operations.
At the time of its shutdown, the company had stated that the decision was necessary to achieve profitability, signalling that its Ugandan operations may not have been profitable. Zumi and Wabi are examples of eCommerce startups that have shut down in the last year, while MarketForce have had to lay off employees.
Goel, however, expects that Uganda's young population and the number of Ugandans who live outside the capital city of Kampala will drive the company's growth. Only 25.7% of the population lives in urban areas, while the country's median age is 16.7 years.