The international express services provider DHL announced its partnership with MallforAfrica’s new platform Marketplace Africa yesterday.
The site offers items from the continent's most talented designers and artisans from a variety of categories including fashion, body care, handbags, jewellery and home décor.
Last year, worldwide retail e-commerce sales reached $2trillion (R26.47trln) and according to DHL’s report, The 21st Century Spice Trade: A Guide to the Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunity, cross-border market is expected to grow by about 25percent annually until 2020, twice the rate of domestic e-commerce.
Hennie Heymans, the chief executive for DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa, said: “DHL is a facilitator of global trade, and if we can improve connectivity and accessibility to global markets for local businesses, this will go a long way in helping small businesses grow.
“We've been in Africa since 1978, so have seen first-hand the huge opportunities that cross-border trade offers to local businesses. This is truly an exciting time for African businesses,” said Heymans.
The Africa Made Product Standards is used to ensure that the highest quality products are being sold on the platform, and provides consumers with the assurance that products meet an international standard in quality.
Chris Folayan, the chief executive of MallforAfrica, said Africans finally had the opportunity, whether banked or unbanked to showcase their amazing talents and skills to the world and sell their products.
“DHL and MallforAfrica saw the need to promote African-made products to the world, and I am beyond proud to be part of making history alongside a company that has pioneered logistics efficiency in Africa and across the globe.
“Marketplace Africa will open the door for African designers and crafts people and enable customers in the US and the world to purchase authentic African-made products directly from the source,” said Folayan.
Before the partnership, African crafts people have been isolated from global customers, because of the distance, fear of not receiving overseas payments and complex shipping requirements.
Customers who wished to buy products directly from African artisans faced obstacles regarding accessibility of items, authenticity and validation of the product, uncertainty of delivery, high delivery costs and payment insecurity.
Marketplace Africa was created to help artisans sell on a global stage and simplify the ability to buy directly from African craftspeople and small enterprises. Through the partnership, DHL will manage all logistics services.
- BUSINESS REPORT