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Jumia bids farewell to Cameroon

Jumia bids farewell to Cameroon

Jumia, Africa's largest e-commerce platform, has ceased operations in Cameroon.

The NYSE-listed company shut down its offices and its e-commerce portal for Cameroon is no longer active as of 18 November 2019.

The e-commerce giant began operations in the country in 2014 and until last year, remained profitable.

However a challenging economic environment and socio-political tensions in the country, along with repeated internet shutdowns between 2017 and 2018, have had an adverse impact.

The company was eventually forced to close its retail outlets in English-speaking parts of Cameroon.

Abdesslam Benzitouni, Group Head of Communication & Public Relations, Jumia, said: "As we continue our investment and innovation in our African operations, we continue to review our path to success to ensure we achieve this mission. Based on our review, we came to the conclusion that our transactional portal as it is run today is not suitable to the current operating environment in Cameroon."

Jumia announced it will continue to support local buyers and sellers through its online classified portal and while Jumia Marketplace no longer features on the jumia.cm website, Jumia Travel and Jumia Deals still remain as of 19 November 2019.

While Cameroon has registered an increase in mobile phone and internet penetration in recent years, the country's e-commerce market has been volatile. Jumia is the third major operator to quit the country after Cdisocunt in 2016 and Afrimarket earlier this year.

Cameroon is the third central African nation to see Jumia's exit, after Congo and Gabon.

Jumia still has operations in Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda.

In other countries, the company has been battling with internal fraud, legal tussles and increasing losses. Jumia recently lost its 'unicorn' status while the company successively missed out on revenue estimates twice this year and its share price dropped to a record low of US$4.96 on Monday 18 November 2019 following the closure of its Cameroonian subsidiary.

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