African merchants majoring in fashion items such as clothing, bags, jewelry, footwear and personal care, and crafts such as pictures and carvings are set to enjoy a global stage. This is thanks to a partnership between DHL and MallforAfrica to launch MarketPlaceAfrica.com; an e-commerce site for select African artisans to sell wares to buyers in any of DHL’s 220 delivery countries.
Besides DHL for shipping, MarketPlace Africa will utilize MallforAfrica’s e-commerce infrastructure as well as its payment and delivery system, which serves as a digital broker and logistics manager for U.S. retailers that partner with MallforAfrica to sell their goods online to African consumers. DHL will manage all logistics services while providing the speed of delivery that customers expect; Marketplace Africa will provide craftspeople and customers order verification, fast delivery, and shipment labeling and packaging services.
African craftspeople have been isolated from global customers due to distance and the obstacles that come with shipping, while customers who wished to purchase products directly from African artisans faced accessibility, authenticity and validity issues, uncertainty of delivery, high delivery costs, and payment security.
The partnership seeks to solve these obstacles as online retailers will be able to ship African-made products to the US and the global market at large. Marketplace Africa was created to help artisans simplify the ability to buy directly from African craftspeople and small enterprises. Global consumers can now shop directly from African businesses of all sizes and have the products shipped to their home with confidence.
Hennie Heymans, CEO for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa asserted that they are thrilled to be a part of this innovative e-commerce solution for African artisans.
“DHL is a facilitator of global trade and if we can improve connectivity and accessibility to global markets for local business, this will go a long way in helping small businesses grow. We’ve been in Africa since 1978, so have seen first-hand, the huge opportunities that cross-border trade offers to local businesses. This is truly an exciting time for African businesses.” – Hennie Heymans, CEO for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa
MallforAfrica CEO Chris Folayan said he sees an opportunity to open the sales channels while helping people in Africa buy products from places like the U.S.
“Africans finally have the opportunity whether banked or unbanked to showcase their amazing talents and skills to the world and sell their products. DHL and MallforAfrica saw the need to promote African-made products to the world and I am beyond proud to be a part of making history alongside a company that has pioneered logistics efficiency in Africa, and across the globe. Marketplace Africa will open the door for African designers and craftspeople and enable customers in the US and the world the ability to purchase authentic African-made products directly from the source.” Chris Folayan, CEO of MallforAfrica. “