Jumia Foods suspends Rwandan delivery operations in third market retreat this year

RWANDA – Online retailer Jumia, has suspended its food delivery operations under the Jumia Foods umberella in Rwanda.

“We regret to inform you that Jumia will suspend our on-demand delivery operations in Rwanda on January 9th 2020,” the New York-listed e-commerce platform, said in a message to its Rwandan customers on Monday.

This is the third country in Africa where the continent’s largest e-commerce platform is shutting operation in a span of less than two months.

The e-commerce business closed its business in Tanzania in late November, and in Cameroon in the middle of the same month.

In 2017, the online retailer closed its Rwandan e-commerce business over quality issues, focusing on its food delivery services in the country.

The firm further says it is shifting to focus more on its payment platform, Jumia pay while cutting back on the e-commerce business.

Additionally, there is unconfirmed information that the platform is mulling to pull out of Congo and Gabon.

Albert Munyabugingo, Jumia’s Managing Director for the Rwandan operations, told The New Times that the group has been “struggling with profitability” in different markets, which informed the decision to suspend some operations.

The group wants to “refocus its business”, Munyabugingo said without shedding more light on their business in the country or mentioning how many customers will be affected.

According to the notice, starting December 9, 2019, Jumia will no longer be able to accept cash on delivery and can only process pre-paid orders.

“No orders will be processed after 9th January 2020 at which point all customer accounts will be closed. Jumia prime subscribers will be contacted separately regarding their refund,” the firm said in a notice.

The company had recently introduced a prime service in which its business customers had a choice to subscribe for a one-month service delivery and get deliveries without being charged transportation fee.

The company says it will continue to support buyers and vendors to do business online on its “classifieds portal, previously called Jumia Deals and which will now be the main portal jumia.rw.”

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