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How Jumia lied to its customers and the public

Jumia’s leadership (Photo credit: afrikanheroes.com)

Jumia, has been recognized as one of the most successful e-commerce platforms in the African continent. During its years of “grace,” Jumia was boastfully identified as the “Amazon of Africa.” However, what many people fail to understand is that the “first African tech start-up to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange” is merely lying with the hope of succeeding on the competitive ecommerce industry. Well, if you did not know, here are some of the biggest lies Jumia told us.

  • Jumia is an African Company

Are you a Kenyan who is a fun of online shopping? If yes, then I believe at one point, you chose Jumia because you wanted to be “African” in your buying. “After all, Amazon is “American” and “Alibaba” is Chinese,” you said, right? Well, that’s because Jumia lied to you that it is an African firm, which is completely false. Jumia is reportedly a German company whose headquarters are located in Berlin. That’s the reason I agree with critics who consider Jumia an exploitative Western company that conveniently co-opted an African identity to extract value as and profit off the continent.

  • Jumia’s top leadership is not African

Even in Nigeria where the e-shop began before the company spread in at least 14 African countries, Jumia’s top leadership is made up of Westerners. Except for the Nigerian woman, Juliet Anammah, currently serving as Jumia’s Chairperson of Jumia Nigeria and Head of Institutional Affairs, Africans generally hold low-level leadership positions at Jumia. Some of the Westerners in the company’s high ranks are completely new to Africa, which is possibly one of the reasons Jumia is failing. In addition to the fact that the company’s headquarters are not in African, their senior leadership is in Dubai, UAE, and Technology and Product Team in Porto, Portugal. At one time, the company’s co-CEO, Mr Poignonnec even claimed that African lacks the talent to provide the man power for their development and engineering needs. That’s just bullshit; African has people with more technical skills than what Jumia needs to maintain or improve their website.

  • Jumia sells counterfeight products

Jumia also lies to its customers that they do not list substandard products. The company says it policies for “forbidden products” according to which it claims to impose the following penalties on vendors that list or sell counterfeit products on their website.

  1. KSH 20,000 fine for selling on counterfeit products
  2. KSH 1000 for a vendor’s failure to prove that a product they listed is fake
  3. Delisting of vendors that repeatedly list counterfeit products on three occasions.

I doubt if Jumia actually evaluate vendors’ listings. In fact, the company is rapidly losing the public trust. Their client base has significantly declined as most of them switch to alternatives like Jiji. Unless you are one of the few lucky people who have never been victims of Jumia’s fake vendors, you will probably agree with me that their policy on forbidden products only exist for blackmailing buyers. Jumia actually sells fake products. I personally have made two orders from Jumia and the products were all substandard.

Have you ever ordered anything from Jumia? Please, share your experiences