E-commerce company, Jumia Technologies on Monday, November 18 shut down its operations in Cameroon without notice just as it did in Gabon and Congo Republic; sparking fears and anxiety on the state of its health in other African countries.
Rebecca Enonchong, a Cameroonian-based tech entrepreneur, disclosed that the development is emblematic of Jumia; which she described as a badly-run business which is only in Africa to rip off Africans.
‘Beyond #JumiaIsNotAfrican, Jumia is simply a badly run business that is incapable of understanding its market, refuses to act as a good corporate citizen and thinks Africans are simply a commodity, a means to an end. No business with that attitude can succeed in the long term,’ Enonchong disclosed.
Likewise, an ex-employee of Jumia affirmed that the company is not much different from a Ponzi scheme. The former staff, who pleaded anonymity, noted that most ex-Jumia staff are not surprised at the development in Cameroon, even as he noted that it could happen even in Nigeria.
‘Jumia is run like a Ponzi scheme. Some of us were poached from rival companies with mouth-watering salary offers and laid off after six months. It is a standard Jumia practice to destabilize its competitors. What happened in Cameroon can happen anywhere, even in Nigeria. When it does, you cannot hold anyone there to account. The owners of the business are foreigners. Right from the period, it went public, I knew it was just a matter of time before the fraud that is Jumia would be uncovered.’
Meanwhile, Jumia revealed in a statement that its e-commerce platform activities in Cameroon were not suitable for the African state.
“We came to the conclusion that our transactional portal as it is run today is not suitable to the current context in Cameroon,” Jumia said in a statement to announce that its e-commerce operations in that country had been suspended.
However, the company said it would continue supporting buyers and vendors in Cameroon using its classified portal Jumia Deals.
The shut-down of its Cameroon operations makes it the third African country in which Jumia has folded up operations. It had earlier closed shop in Gabon and Congo Republic.
Meanwhile, a source at the company in Cameroon told Reuters that Jumia had chosen to prioritize growth over profitability; a move that had back-fired.
“We wanted to see how the business evolved. We can come back, but for now we’re closing to have time to study the market,” the source; who chose to remain anonymous, disclosed to Reuters.