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Jumia partners Xiaomi to drive smartphone penetration in Africa

By: Emmanuel Bruce
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Romain Christodoulou (left), Senior Vice President, Jumia Group&Wang Xiang, Senior Vice President, Xiaomi Corporation
Romain Christodoulou (left), Senior Vice President, Jumia Group&Wang Xiang, Senior Vice President, Xiaomi Corporation

Jumia, Africa’s leading e-commerce platform, has signed a partnership with technology firm Xiaomi at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, giving millions of users in Africa easy access to Xiaomi products.
Through the partnership, Jumia will open the Mi official store on its platform and give Xiaomi access to millions of online customers across 14 countries in the continent, while Jumia will be able to offer Redmi Go (1GB+8GB) exclusively in Africa as well as other devices later in the year.
The partnership will be supported by an ambitious joint-marketing plan over the full year 2019, leveraging Jumia’s digital assets and Xiaomi marketing capabilities, including the Mi fan community. This is the promising first step to a close partnership between both companies over the years to come.

“This partnership is very important for us, as it will definitely foster the smartphone adoption in Africa as well as support e-commerce penetration. Xiaomi and Jumia have very similar internet DNA and will serve a common purpose: delivering the best in class affordable smartphones along with the best shopping experience. This will be very beneficial for both companies and above all for the consumers in Africa”, said Jumia Group’s Senior Vice President Mr Romain Christodoulou, during the signing ceremony.

Sharing his thoughts on the new partnership, Ore Odusanya, Managing Director of Jumia Ghana believes “This important relationship marks an important milestone in Jumia’s quest to foster closer partnerships with more leading brands in the world of electronics.” “With Xiaomi’s current position as a leader in technology” he continues,“this news could not have come at a more opportune timejust before Jumia Mobile Week, the biggestmobile phone event in Africa.”

“We believe in working with companies that share our values and delighted to partner with Jumia to reach more Mi fans across Africa,” said Wang Xiang, Senior Vice President of Xiaomi. “The e-commerce model is part of Xiaomi’s DNA and we believe that working with Jumia will help us bring innovation for everyone across the continent.”

The partnership will initially cover Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco, and Ghana, and aim to cover all other countries where Jumia operates. Most markets will be directly supplied from China, confirming the fast expansion of intercontinental trade in Africa.

Africa has seen the rise of affordable entry-level devices from price-focused brands especially from China, which remains a key driver of smartphone adoption in the continent. Smartphone penetration in Africa stood at approximately 36 per cent in 2018, with the number expected to reach about 66 per cent by 2025.