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Outrage as Jumia CEO claims there are not enough African developers after NYSE listing

Online shopping mall Jumia causes outrage among Africans for claiming there are not enough African developers.

E-commerce giant Jumia went public last week on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as the first major “African” startup with its shares started trading at about KES 1500. This is despite having its headquarters in Germany and Dubai, hiring from Portugal, and having its top management coming from France.

The news caused outrage from many African social media users who argued that Jumia is not an African company and is like many other companies, which just operates in Africa making it a top trending topic on Twitter.

Jumia who call themselves an African-focused company added salt to the injury when asked why they won’t hire or operate from. According to Kenyan digest, the Jumia CEO said during a recent interview on CNBC, “…the reality is in Africa there’s not enough development and developers…”

“The uniqueness of Africa is for the sellers. It is very hard to distribute its products because of infrastructural inefficiencies. Our solution was to go online as Jumia,” Sacha told CNBC.

“We are completely an African company. We operate exclusively in Africa. We have more than 5000 employees in the continent,” he added.

Jumia was founded by two French nationals, Jeremy Hodara, and Sacha Poignonnec, and is incorporated in Germany. The founders hold over 2 percent of the company’ shares. However, some argue that Jumia’s original founders, Kahinde and Afaedor, who are African, qualify the firm’s Africa roots. Furthermore, Jumia reports that it’s market exclusivity makes it African; the lion’s share of its taxes are paid in the continent, and it employs an excess of 5000 people in Africa, reported Techweez.