Posts Tagged ‘cote d’ivoire’

Carrefour in Cote D’Ivoire: Thinking global; acting local

Unusually, for a global retail brand like the French Carrefour chain, their range of products in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire include numerous locally sourced products. News has it that they signed as many as 170 different supplier agreements in their bid to source indigenously.

…local products like pineapple from Bonoua (south-east), yam from Bondoukou (east), rice from Danané (west) tomato and outfits designed by local seamstresses in Ivory Coast.

This doesn’t seem like a one off deal either, but a comprehensive sourcing strategy. From the material available on the CFAO website, it seems they’re working closely to train local suppliers and integrate them into their supply chain. The relationship has the potential to go regional, as Carrefour and their local partner CFAO expand their modern retail footprint.

retail francophonieThe retailer will work with local SMEs and farmers to improve quality standards, logistics and management ahead store openings and mall development.

The potential for greater impact is apparent in this strategy, as opposed to the more conventional approach taken by other transnational retailers, particularly those from South Africa. They tend to source from their long established suppliers, even if it means shipping in produce from halfway across the continent.

This will be interesting to watch, particularly from the perspective of the informal sector.

 

 

African E-Commerce: Successfully Leapfrogging The Metrics of Fail

Postal networks are critical elements of the e-commerce chain, a UN report said, including home postal delivery as an indicator in a new global index to measure countries’ readiness to carry out business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce. ~ source

By these metrics, countries on the African continent such as Nigeria rank 101st on the global index, far below South Africa at 67th place, and Cote d’Ivoire isn’t even on the readiness list.  Why should this matter?

Jumia, one of the rising giants of pan African e-commerce, just opened 6 new hubs across the Cote d’Ivoire, and happens to be headquartered in Nigeria. On the other hand, South Africa has been struggling to get its e-commerce industry off the ground to meet its full potential.

While the reports such as these may  indeed be organized collections of tastefully analyzed data and well presented charts and graphs, are they able to offer any meaningful insight? This report presents The UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index as a means for countries to assess their readiness for e-commerce and identify the areas that need further development and investment.

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Konga Warehouse, Lagos, Nigeria

Yet, on the ground, the “least ready” countries seem to be leaping forward, building brands and developing ecosystems for the emergence of supporting services, employment opportunities and even, niche platforms.  How does all the hard work that may have gone into the creation of such reports help them?

Metrics – the attributes by which to rank or measure – may not always be universally appropriate, nor will they always represent the real world operating environment. As African economies emerge onto the global platform – both real and virtual – they may require new ways to measure opportunity and success.

Metrics that can realistically reflect their unconventional characteristics of cutting edge communications commingled with undeveloped infrastructure. Else the growth opportunities such as those in Cote d’Ivoire, which isn’t even listed in the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index may pass under the nose of international players.

Yes, Africa is starting from a very low base, but early investors like Rocket Internet’s Jumia know that its only here that one can show results like 900% growth in sales in as many months.