(Ecofin Agency) - Starlink’s commercial services are already available in five African countries, namely: Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya, and Malawi. Before the year ends, the US firm plans to add 18 more countries on the continent.
U.S.-based company SpaceX has teamed up with e-commerce company Jumia Technologies AG to accelerate the adoption of its Starlink satellite Internet network services in Africa. Under the terms of the agreement, Jumia will offer Starlink terminals and satellite kits in the African countries where it operates.
“We have seen Starlink do these types of deals in Southeast Asia and South America, and now Africa will also have the opportunity to access fast-speed internet services. The plan is to start selling through our sites and agents in Nigeria this month, and then Kenya,” said Hisham El Gabry, Jumia's Chief Commercial Officer.
A week ago, Starlink sealed a distribution deal with Paratus, a pan-African broadband provider. What Starlink wants is to speed up the adoption of its services in Africa, in line with SpaceX’s ambition to provide high-speed internet worldwide, including in remote areas and places not easily accessible by mobile operators and land-based networks. This year, alone, the firm plans to launch its commercial services in 23 African countries. It has already done so in five, so far.
The collaboration between Starlink and Jumia is expected to boost competition in the African Internet market and extend Internet access to millions more people. Jumia currently has 8.4 million active consumers across Africa, with an average transaction every two seconds, according to its website. Also, the e-commerce platform recorded around 1.1 billion visits in 2022 for 38.9 million orders.
Isaac K. Kassouwi