Reimagining the Future of Retail Trade in Africa through Public-Private-Partnerships
Traditional retail trade across Africa is notoriously fragmented and expensive to service, with hundreds of thousands of independent retailers being serviced by an equally fragmented network of distributors, wholesalers, and sales agents. Each step in the chain adds more to the final price of the good to consumers. Manual forms of operations and data capture (e.g. pen and paper for 90% of retailers) and lack of systems for tracking goods/sales down the value chain provides poor real-time market visibility for all actors, leading to a myriad of issues such as low product availability, frequent retailer stock outs or shop closes (e.g. to travel for restock), the concentration of margin/benefits higher in the value chain, corruption risk, and general lack of optimization towards a better consumer price.
In the journey of seeing how best to bridge the pertinent value chain gaps which perennially cripple retail trade across Africa, MarketForce has spotted an immense opportunity in Public-Private-Partnerships, otherwise known as PPPs.
Over and above B2B E-Commerce and Retail Tech, which has significantly made a difference over time, we believe that an Ecosystem comprising Government (or Government Agencies) and the Private Sector, will go a long way in closing the loop of revolutionizing Africas informal trade both in the short and long term.
PPPs in the context of Africa
PPPs typically involve collaboration between a government agency and a private sector body to finance, build and deliver a public asset or service. They combine the strength of the governments mandate and ability to deliver public services, with the private sectors investments, technology, products and distribution systems.
PPPs are not new in Africa, and world over we have seen several mark