Photograph — Bloomberg

African e-commerce giant, Jumia has entered a partnership with Reckitt Benckiser (RB) that will see it provide a steady supply of high-demand hygiene products at affordable prices. This comes as consumers in the region take hygiene precautions to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the health products maker said in a press release.

Jumia has said it will be taking zero percent commission on Dettol, JIK and Harpic, produced by RB, while it will reinvest the initial commission into discounts on the consumer price. On its part, the British firm is financing free shipping nationwide on all listed products in markets where Jumia operates. By doing so, Reckitt Benckiser is providing “fair access to supply for all consumers, regardless of their location,” according to Bart Meermans, senior vice president for Health in Africa, Middle East & Turkey.

Consumers will be able to access the products from the Stay Safe page on Jumia, jointly-owned with RB, and available in all of the markets it operates – Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. “We strive to continue operating so that customers continue to use e-commerce as a safe way to shop in this challenging time,” said Romain Christodoulou, SVP Jumia Group. “We are proud to work closely with Reckitt Benckiser through the “Stay Safe” campaign.”

The campaign also shares “consistent information” about the virus outbreak, Christodoulou adds. A special website, Mythbuster, has been created by Reckitt Benckiser to help update consumers on risks and best practices to avoid the virus from spreading, which Jumia directs consumers to through several awareness campaigns.

As of Wednesday, about 34 African countries had recorded cases and 16 deaths from the coronavirus, which broke out in China late December. It has since been declared a pandemic by the WHO after spreading to over 100 countries, infecting nearly 200,000 and killing more than 6,000.

African governments have continued to roll out increasingly robust measures to halt the spread and to contain the pandemic and in this light, the Jumia-Reckitt Benckiser partnership has been lauded by the head of Nigeria’s competition and consumer protection agency, FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera.

Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RB), a producer of health, hygiene and home products, is a multinational consumer goods company headquartered in England. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, the company’s popular brands include the antiseptic Dettol, sore throat medicine Strepsils, and the air freshener Air Wick.

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