After a successful pre-launch in 2020, followed by a delay forced by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria-based e-commerce giant Jumia has finally launched operations at its new technology center in Egypt.
Chief Executive Officer of Jumia Egypt, Hesham Safwat, affirmed that the Egyptian government’s efforts to digitalise its economy was the main reason for choosing the North African country as home to its new technology center, from where it will serve the rest of Africa.
“From the first day of laying the foundation of the technology center, Jumia has established Egypt as a center for launching and entrepreneurship in the electronic payment and digital technology fields in Africa.
“Therefore, expertise will be shared among the rest of the surrounding countries, in addition to electronic payment methods that customers can use easily, conveniently, and safely, as Jumia works side by side with the vision and direction of the Egyptian state that maximizes the importance of digital transformation and financial inclusion,” Safwat said in a statement on the company’s website.
The Cairo Technology Center was set up to provide technical support to the company’s electronic payment platform, JumiaPay, as well as facilitate the provision of other digital services. According to the statement, employees at the tech hub are working on developing the fintech platform and many other digital services.
The payments unit is one of Jumia’s key assets, JumiaPay, through which about 34% of the company’s transactions are completed. Along with its logistics unit, experts have backed a planned spinoff of the payments arm to achieve profitability. In the first nine months of 2020, JumiaPay revenue was up 74% year-over-year even as e-commerce sales dragged.
For Egypt, the new center is considered a reflection of its efforts to improve its digital competencies as well as accelerate digital transformation. The country is fast becoming a tech powerhouse – boasting a mix of incubators and accelerators, access to venture capital funds, a vibrant ecosystem, and good quality higher education facilities.
Also Read: Jumia: From Laughing Stock to $100 Per Share
In 2019, 88 Egyptian tech startups secured investments of almost $90 million, more than any other African country, and accounted for 28.3 percent of the overall total, per data from Disrupt Africa. The Jumia center will only help Egypt further cement its current status as a major player in Africa’s tech startup ecosystem.
The center also aims to provide technology for all users as a contribution to achieving Egypt’s Vision 2030 while creating additional income for the public treasury.
In addition, it is expected to enhance Egypt’s position in the information technology field, enabling its to become one the largest exporting countries of digital services, as well as provide job opportunities for youth by training them for freelance digital jobs.