The American Basketball star and Tech Investor Andre Iguodala has lauded Jumia activities in the Nigeria e-commerce space and has disclosed its intention to support Nigerian Tech Startups.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, as part of his visit to Nigeria and as a member of the Board of Directors, Jumia Global Group, Iguodala said that, just like China, Nigeria has the right consumer retail aspirations to evolve a robust e-commerce market similar to markets with giant corporations like Amazon and Alibaba.
Being on the board, Andre is also on the compensation committee whose job is to, first, find talent, special African talents, and keeping them African to solve the African challenges uniquely.
Secondly, the committee is to create awareness to foreign investors and help in creating structures.
He admitted that much of the difficulties encountered by startups in Nigeria revolve around funding and growth opportunities and assured that solutions to such problems would be found.
On the benefit of his partnership with Jumia, Iguodala who joined Jumia as an Ambassador and board member stated that such collaboration is expected to promote the company’s business development and technology in the United States of America.
According to him, “Part of my being in the board is to bring that awareness to the US investors to African company, the actual reason is the growth that is here.”
Andre who praised Jumia Nigeria under Anammah for the amazing work it is doing, stated that he would also be helping athletes to invest in startups and business of their choice in preparation for their retirement.
He described his membership of the board of Jumia Group as an opportunity for him to contribute to the expansion of its operations across Africa and support talent development on the African continent.
Iguodala said he was committed to making a strong case for an additional board member from Africa, who will be female and serve as the African CEO of Jumia operations.
Speaking further on the partnership benefit to Nigeria, he posited that the collaboration was designed for finding talents, developing the talents, creating awareness to U.S. investors, so as to understand how ecommerce works in developing countries.
On his advocacy for tech investment and development, Iguodala highlighted the “Players Technology Summit” which has been an opportunity for basketball stars and tech players in Silicon Valley to interact and explore possible partnerships.
“Because of my Nigerian heritage, Jumia’s use of technology to deliver innovative online services to consumers and improve the quality of everyday life in Africa is very important to me. I’m thrilled to be a part of this unique enterprise that is shaping the future of digital Africa.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Jumia Nigeria, Ms Juliet Anammah expressed that in her remarks described Andre Iguodala’s visit to Nigeria as timely and believed his wealth of experience on the global board, will take the e-commerce firm to greater heights on the continent.
“His coming is an opportunity to engage with you, to talk about his experiences, his life and what he is doing to encourage young Nigerians and young entrepreneurs who are active in the tech space, Anammah disclosed.
Jumia in April, 2019 emerged the first African-based start-up to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).