More local SMEs to access US market under new DHL and MallforAfrica partnership deal

More Rwanda businesses, especially small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), now have access to the bigger US market, thanks to a new partnership between global logistics firm DHL and MallforAfrica, an international e-commerce company to facilitate the selling of made-in-Africa products to customers in the United States.

According to a statement from DHL, businesses on the continent, including handicraft makers, fashion designers and other SMEs, can do so via the eBay platform powered by MallforAfrica, an award-winning global e-commerce company.

Through the partnership, DHL locations will serve as drop-off points for products destined for consumers in the US, the logistics company said in the statement. This will be the first time businesses in Africa can sell their locally manufactured products directly on eBay.

DHL Express currently handles inbound express delivery for MallforAfrica and has enabled its customers importing from the US to receive their packages seamlessly in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana. This is a watershed partnership for African businesses as it allows them an avenue to trade on the global stage.

“We have been partners with DHL Express for many years and have tremendous trust in their ability to ship to our customers,” said Chris Folayan, the MallforAfrica chief executive officer.

“Both companies have a common goal of seeing African e-commerce businesses thrive on the global stage. We want to contribute to the future of e-commerce growth, African cross-border sales and, most importantly, improve the lives of African artisanal arts, designs, crafts and more.”

MallforAfrica is Africa’s largest e-commerce enabler, providing Africans with a platform through which they can purchase items directly from over 200 international online retailers, such as Macy’s, eBay, Ralph Lauren, Net-a-Porter, Carters, GAP, and FarFetch – brands that would otherwise be inaccessible to the African consumers.

By managing every aspect of the order and return cycle, the MallforAfrica app offers its customers a simple, secure and convenient solution to online shopping directly from the best brands in the world.

“We are proud to be playing a crucial role in connecting African artists with American customers through MallforAfrica,” said Randy Buday, the DHL Express regional director for West and Central Africa.

“We look forward to supporting local artisans across Africa to sell into America. ‘Brand Africa’ is something that has increased exponentially in popularity in recent years and this platform allows businesses to capitalise on international opportunities through seamless international trade,” Buday added.

Buday said the firm is focused on connecting African consumers and businesses to global opportunities.

“Digitalisation has reduced the boundaries of doing business across borders – consumers are now able to access goods and services from pretty much anywhere in the world, and we are excited to be the ones facilitating this, so African artisans can get access to the global audience they so deserve.”