By Providence Emmanuel
LAGOS—To facilitate non oil export in the country, MallforAfrica, MFA, has unveiled its export platform in collaboration with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NEPC.
MFA is Africa’s largest online e-commerce enabler which provides Africans with a simple, secure and convenient platform through which customers can purchase items directly from over 150 international online retailers, such as Amazon, Macy’s, eBay, Ralph Lauren and Zara.
Speaking at a media briefing and formal launch of ‘MFA Women Empowerment For Global Market Access Program, We-GMAP 2020’ in Lagos, Managing Director, MFA, Mr. Tope Folayan, said payment is a major problem with ecommerce and logistics, which is getting the items from merchants to the customers.
He said MFA has been a platform primarily for allowing international merchants sell into Africa but would be allowing local merchants to sell globally henceforth.
Folayan stated: “We are launching the program, but we are focused on the women empowerment part, which we call W-GAM. Specifically doing something for women entrepreneurs to enable them compete globally.
We decided to do something where we can focus on a group of entrepreneurs. We chose women because we noticed that when you empower women, you are empowering much more and a whole community.
“Generally, we are going to be showing people, the ease of selling online to a global market,” he said.
Earlier, Regional Coordinator, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, South-West Region, Mr. Babatunde Faleke, said that the platform would enable Nigerian entrepreneurs produce and export their products.
Faleke said that the cost of exporting product is more than the cost of production in Nigeria.
According to him: “The challenges we have in export today, is not on the products, because when you talk of quality, packaging, vision, creativity, we have it. But moving it beyond production and outside the shores is the problem.
“We should stop talking about Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs in Nigeria, there is nothing like SME in this country. When you define SME by international standard, what we are doing is not SME, we are still micro,” he said.
On MFA platform, he said that it is a quick platform to micro scales and SMEs, adding that the burden of export has always been how to move a large quantity.
“With MFA, entrepreneurs can sell a pair of shoe and the issue of payment is through them. It is a platform that provides solution to quick export. You don’t need a large quantity to move at a time. A unit of thing that is unique and demanded for can be exported all over the world. It is a platform created to promote and market export, it is creative and we want to go with them to ensure SMEs don’t have problem of moving goods or looking for money to move goods. It would cut export cost.
“At NEPC, our role is to identify SMEs who are export ready and bring them on board, while ensuring that they enroll and get certification to sell their goods. It is a Public Private Partnership, PPP that would encourage export at the micro level,” he said.