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eBay brings U.S. goods to Africa via MallforAfrica partnership

Consumers in three African countries will soon be able to buy goods from American eBay sellers thanks to a new partnership between eBay and online shopping startup MallforAfrica.com.

TechCrunch reports the partnership will result in a new eBay-powered platform, eBay.MallforAfrica.com, first rolled out to Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana in 2016, with other African countries following in the future.

African retail market potential
The partnership marks interest in Africa’s retail markets and the value proposition for African e-commerce. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, Africa's consumer spending is estimated to exceed $1.4 trillion annually by 2020 and online sales are expected to top $75 billion by 2025.

Nigeria has been of particular interest for e-commerce startups attracted to its dual distinctions as Africa’s most populous country and largest economy. Recent market movements include Swiss Ringier’s acquisition of Nigerian online deals site DealDey, and a $327 million funding round (comprising Goldman Sachs and AXA Insurance) in e-commerce company Jumia Group (formerly Africa Internet Group) that created the continent’s first $1 billion startup unicorn.

How it works
eBay Business Development Director, Fernando Saiz says, "The platform will enable inventory from all eBay U.S. individual and business sellers with a 300+ star rating to be purchased by buyers in Nigeria and Kenya."

But this isn’t the first arrangement of its kind for eBay. eBay previously partnered with Chinese fashion site Xiu.com and has enabled sellers across Latin America and Russia to buy from U.S. sellers, even providing services to localize listings for internationalization.

In this instances, the MallforAfrica’s platform will handle logistics — via its own product processing center in Portland, Oregon, and payments for eBay products — accepting both local currency and digital payments from fintech partners Paga in Nigeria and M-Pesa in Kenya, which will go back to eBay vendors in dollars.

“We are creating a unique ‘eBay Powered by MallforAfrica’ app to run on all our platforms. When buyers in Africa shop with this app, they’ll be able to shop on eBay, buy what they want, check out, and pay through MallforAfrica,” said MallforAfrica CEO Chris Folayan.

Getting the word out
MallforAfrica.com posted an announcement on Facebook this week, explaining the creation of an "eBay Powered by MallforAfrica" app to run on its platforms so when buyers in Africa shop with the app, they'll be able to shop on eBay but pay through MallforAfrica.

Tags: cross-border, eBay

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