Georgina Odafe, Naijanewstalk
The largest online marketplace in Africa, Jumia, has recently launched its first drone delivery in Africa.
Jumia online marketplace made this possible through its partnership with one of the global drone delivery companies based in California, Zipline.
The drone delivery service has been in the testing stage for some time. Jumia recently conducted a pilot test in Ghana to test the drone technology and how well it works for deliveries.
During the test, Jumia made deliveries for one hour from a distance of 85km using the Zipline drones.
Such innovation is uncommon in African logistics.
Jumia online marketplace has once more proved to be a pioneer of innovations and its readiness to improve customer service. Now Jumia buyers can get their orders at home through Zipline drones.
The drone delivery service is currently available in Ghana, where over a hundred deliveries have been done using drone technology.
Apoorva Kumar, Jumia’s chief operations officer, said that the drone delivery service with Zipline drone would enable Jumia online marketplace customers in remote and rural areas of Africa to get their orders delivered at home. The drone technology allows for speed and sustaining safety during deliveries.
“Whether customers are ordering from the fashion, electronics, health, or other categories, the Zipline logistics system will supply quick and convenient access,” he added.
Senior Vice President of Zipline Africa, Daniel Marfo, has conveyed his company’s pleasure at the partnership with Jumia, assuring that this collaboration will stimulate the growth of small businesses in Africa.
A report by Forbes showed Africa is not doing satisfactorily in areas such as accessibility to roads and energy but has made notable improvements in internet access. This is because entrepreneurs in the tech world and FinTech startups have been utilising the internet and technology to solve problems in the life of the average African.
According to VOA, the drone delivery service with Jumia is off to a good start, except for problems which might arise from poor address systems.
Ken Gichinga, a chief economist in Nairobi, Kenya said drone technology has the potential to unlock the industry where delivery services are concerned, only if geo-mapping is utilised.
The United Nations conference on trade and development also mentioned that Africa is behind in essential areas like electronic trade, which results from a lack of a working payment system, internet connectivity and other policies enforced by the government.
Another problem that Jumia and Zipline drone delivery service might encounter is the need for privacy by most Africans.
According to Wohoro Ndohho, an economist who spoke to VOA, less than 40% of African countries agreed to adopt the legislation on data privacy. Most are afraid of being harmed when their personal information is shared.
While the use of Zipline drone technology for the delivery services of Jumia is applaudable, one can not help but notice that the service is not yet available in Nigeria, one of Jumia’s largest markets.
Although drone technology is already being used in Africa by industries such as medicine, it is hoped that the Jumia group will soon expand their drone delivery services to all eleven African countries where it operates.
What do you think? Do you feel this particular technology would work in Nigeria? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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