This Digital Start-up is Helping People Buy Food during Lock-downs in Cameroon
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This Digital Start-up is Helping People Buy Food during Lock-downs in Cameroon

ExportPortal 8 Aug, 2019
This Digital Start-up is Helping People Buy Food during Lock-downs in Cameroon

Cameroon became embroiled in a crisis in its English-speaking regions in 2016. On Mondays and chosen days, people boycott all activities, which can make it very difficult to buy food and supplies. Learn more about a solution on Export Portal's blog!

Ghost towns are still the most powerful form of protest since Cameroon became embroiled in a crisis in its English-speaking regions in 2016. On Mondays and chosen days, people boycott all activities, which can make it very difficult to buy food and supplies.

This situation has caused much damage to the economy, but people are looking for ways to help those in need to get supplies through intelligent means. One such initiative is the Kwata Store, a simple site that displays the contacts of store owners in particular neighborhoods. The service is available in Buea, the tech capital of Cameroonknown as Silicon Mountain. The creators of the service, Campaign Streets Production hope to expand it to other towns.

With a simple call, residents can place orders and arrange how to collect what they have purchased. Even though it was built for a crisis, there is excellent potential in a service that could transform the way Cameroonians shop. It provides an opportunity for local businesses to find new ways of selling to their customers, saving time, and laying down a new blueprint for eCommerce in the country.

graphic representing eCommerce

Easy to load, the site displays stores on every street, a list of what they sell and their hours of operation. Some of them list special offers they provide on regular days. Seven stores are currently, and more will be made available over time. Store owners can contact site creators to add their stores on the site, and there are plans to appoint stores administrators to manage all the shops in each neighborhood.

Innovations like these are significant if nothing happens to the Internet, but people in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions know all too well about restrictions and shutdowns. There was a complete shutdown for three months in 2017, and some fear it might happen again if things don’t return to normal. Some users already have the shop numbers saved, or make use of VPNs when the Internet is restricted. Another innovation during this crisis is an SMS cart-tracking appthat several companies are already using in Cameroon.

eCommerce is regularly solving real-life problems all over the world. With the advent of solutions like these, technology proves that it is necessary to stay connected to the rest of the world. 

 

After all, it was after dealing with the confusing world of international trade that led to the creation of Export Portal, which is making it easier and safer for SMEs all over the world to connect and trade globally. If you are an SME interested in expanding your business and going global, register with us today!

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