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新冠疫情促使非洲网购加速发展 Customer service agents are seen at the Jumia customer service office in Lagos, Nigeria January 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja


Covid-19 has brought untold hardship to Africa, but lockdowns are also driving a move to online shopping in a continent where it has been slow to take off.新冠肺炎疫情给非洲带去了数不清的苦难,但是封锁也推动了起步较晚的网购在非洲大陆上的发展。

untold [ˌʌnˈtoʊld]: adj. 数不清的;无限的


The whole of Africa had only around 21 million online shoppers in 2017 — about the same number as Spain. That's less than 2% of the world's total, according to the latest UN data.根据联合国最新的数据,2017年整个非洲只有大约2100万网购者,相当于西班牙的网购人数,还不到世界网购总人数的2%。

Covid-19 had infected more than 260,000 people in Africa, as of June 18, and lockdown restrictions have forced many open-air markets and retailers to shut, with consumers being told to stay at home. In response, digital entrepreneurs across the continent have launched new services for ordering and delivering supplies.截至6月18日,新冠病毒已经感染了非洲超26万人,封锁限制措施迫使很多露天市场和零售店关门,消费者被告知待在家里。对此非洲各地的电商推出了订购和送货的新服务。

"E-commerce has been a turnkey solution," Torbjörn Fredriksson, head of e-commerce and digital economy at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), tells CNN Business. It has enabled "supply chains to continue to function and to get food from farms to tables," he adds.联合国贸易与发展会议电子商务和数字经济处处长托本·弗莱德瑞克逊告诉美国有线电视新闻网商业频道说:“电子商务是解决问题的一把钥匙。”他补充道,电子商务让“供应链继续运转,把食物从农民那里运送到餐桌上。”



Farmcrowdy began life in 2016 as a digital platform providing small farmers across Nigeria with access to finance and support. But in April, it launched Farmcrowdy Foods, an online store where people can buy fresh food from farmers.数字化平台Farmcrowdy于2016年创立,向尼日利亚各地的小农户提供资金和支持。但是在今年四月,该平台推出了网店Farmcrowdy Foods,人们可以通过这家网店从农民那里买到新鲜食物。

Kenneth Obiajulu, the company's managing director, told CNN Business that it started developing the marketplace model in 2019, but decided to fast track the launch as Nigeria's lockdown made it difficult for farmers to sell produce.该公司的总经理肯尼斯·欧比亚由路告诉美国有线电视新闻网商业频道称,该公司从2019年开始开发市场模式,但是在尼日利亚的封锁措施使得农民难以卖掉农产品后决定快速推进这一模式。

Through the food platform, Farmcrowdy collects produce from its network of more than 25,000 farmers situated in the rural north of the country, before transporting it to storage facilities in the south, near Lagos, where there is most demand.通过他们的食品平台,Farmcrowdy从尼日利亚北部乡村的2.5万多名农民那里收购农产品,然后将其运送到需求量最大的拉各斯附近的南部地区仓库。

"We list all the produce that we have sourced directly from the farmers. Then individuals can order it and get it delivered to their homes," says Obiajulu. Since launching, during what it describes as a pilot phase with limited marketing, it has received more than 2,000 orders via its hotline, WhatsApp and mobile app.欧比亚由路说:“我们在平台上列出了所有直接从农民那里收购的农产品。然后个体消费者就可以订购,让我们送货上门。”自从推出该平台以来,在所谓的有限营销的试运行阶段,已经通过热线电话、WhatsApp应用和其他手机应用接收到了2000多张订单。

Nigerian startup Flutterwave, which began as a digital payments company, also launched an online marketplace in April, where businesses can set up a storefront on the platform and list and sell their goods. The service is now available in 15 African countries.尼日利亚的初创企业Flutterwave在创立初期是一家电子支付公司,在今年四月也推出了网上商城,企业可以在该平台上建立网店,展示并销售自己的商品。目前该服务面向15个非洲国家开放。

Olugbenga Agboola, the company's founder, told CNN Business in May that the online store was created as a lifeline for small companies that have been closed during lockdowns, and that more than 1,000 businesses had signed up to sell products.该公司的创始人欧路格本噶·阿哥布拉五月份告诉美国有线电视新闻网商业频道说,网店是许多在封锁期间关门的小公司的一条生命线,目前已有超1000家企业在该平台注册了网店销售产品。

Jumia, one of the continent's largest e-commerce operators, reported a four-fold increase in sales of groceries in the second-half of March, compared with the same period last year — although its food delivery service was impacted by restaurants shutting down.非洲大陆最大的电子商务运营商之一Jumia报告称三月下半月的百货销量同比增长了四倍——不过其送餐服务受到了餐厅关门的影响。


新冠疫情促使非洲网购加速发展 A worker of the Jumia warehouse walks between shelves in Lagos, Nigeria January 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja



Starting from a low base, e-commerce in Africa was on the rise before the pandemic. According to UNCTAD, the number of online shoppers on the continent has grown by 21% annually since 2014, higher than the world's average growth rate of 12%. The launch of new platforms in response to Covid-19 has accelerated this growth, says Fredriksson.尽管起步较低,但非洲的电子商务在疫情暴发前就呈上升的发展趋势。根据联合国贸易与发展会议的数据,自2014年以来,非洲大陆网购人数每年平均增长21%,高于世界平均增长率12%。弗莱德瑞克逊表示,因疫情而兴起的新平台加速了网购的增长。

A recent study from market research firm Nielsen found that around 30% of online consumers in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya shopped more online during the lockdown period.市场调研公司尼尔森的一项新研究发现,尼日利亚、南非和肯尼亚约有30%的网购消费者在封锁期间消费量增加了。


新冠疫情促使非洲网购加速发展 Packages set for delivery are seen at the Jumia warehouse in Lagos, Nigeria January 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja


But Fredriksson warns that it won't all be plain sailing. "The shift to online platforms and services is far from automatic in Africa," he says, adding that many countries lag in terms of broadband access, transport and infrastructure.但是弗莱德瑞克逊警告称,网购的发展不会一帆风顺。他说:“向网上平台和服务的转变不会在非洲自动完成。”他补充道,许多非洲国家在宽带覆盖率、交通和基础设施方面都很落后。

The biggest hurdle is gaining consumer trust, says Obiajulu. But the pandemic could be the turning point.欧比亚由路说,最大的障碍就是获取消费者的信任。但是大流行病可能是转折点。

"Individuals won't be buying the same way as they used to before," he says. "People are becoming comfortable with the fact that they don't need to step into the market to get what they need to eat. We are positioning ourselves for that new normal."“个体消费者不会再像过去那样购物,”他说,“人们正逐渐接受一个事实:他们无需走进市场也能获得他们需要的食物。我们正在适应这个新常态。”