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More people are shopping online indicating that there are increased internet users and that they have faith in the different platforms currently available to that effect.

In a random survey conducted by the 'Daily News on Saturday,' a number of middle class residents of Dar es Salaam admitted that they have used online shopping services on a number of occasions and are satisfied with the results.

Mr Rajab Salehe, an IT specialist admits that although he is yet to try any local websites, he is a frequent user of to buy clothes and shoes and other platforms for vehicles.

"I am especially fond of Amazon because apart from having a variety of products to choose from, the prices are reasonable and the delivery charges don't harm my wallet," he said.

Ms Rose Kabati, a banker in Dar es Salaam said that with the rise of online shoppers, many banks are providing Visa cards that helps ease transactions.

Ms Kabati, however, said that one of the biggest challenges that Tanzanians face in e-commerce is the lack of physical addresses and that many are forced to use office addresses for the parcels to reach them. Historically, internet services in Tanzania started in 1995.

Five years later in 2000, the country had only 115,000 people connected to the Internet. Since then the number has kept growing significantly - reaching 9.3 million users in 2014; equivalent to 20 per cent of the 45 million people in Tanzania.

This has grown by about 65 per cent within one year. By May 2013 statistics from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) showed that there were six million internet users out of the 45 million citizens who had access to the internet on a daily basis - at the penetration rate of 11.5 per cent of the population.

It is due to the emergence of internet-enabled mobile phones and lower bandwidth adaptations of applications, particularly social media, which is driving the rapid diffusion and growth of mobile internet usage in various sectors of the economy.

According to the World Bank, mobile phone usage in Africa is exploding and has been for the past five years. In fact, its mobile phone market has pinnacled the 650 million user tally - which is greater than the US or Europe.

Internet access is rapidly expanding as well, with World Bank saying new Internet cables have been stretched out over miles of the African continent, increasing bandwidth usage twentyfold. Local online platforms include Jumia, Jumia, Hellofood, Lamudi, Carmudi, Zando, Jovago, Lendico and Easy Taxi.

Launched in 2013, Lamudi is a global property portal focusing exclusively on emerging markets and in November joined with real estate agencies in Dar es Salaam to work together to establish a first-ever official real estate association in Tanzania.

"Many agents in the country are doing their jobs arbitrarily leading to less financial gain. The association will provide them with proper registration, training and certificates for their work.

"This union will be an ideal platform for both established agents as well as new ones to participate in the real estate market in Tanzania," Lamudi Tanzania Country Manager, Mr Godlove Nyagawa, said.

A late entrant who joined the online retail platform was OLX who entered via Facebook's app where Mr Thomas Platenga, OLX's Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, expressed his joy in a statement at the company finally being able to embark on this venture.

In November, this year, following its recent successful launches in Cameroon and Uganda, Africa's leading online retailer Jumia announced its expansion to Tanzania, bringing the number of countries in which the e-commerce site is active to ten and marks its continuous expansion in Africa.

According to the World Economic Outlook Database by the International Monetary Fund, Tanzania is Africa's 13th largest economy, with a nominal GDP of 33 billion US dollars and an economic growth rate of 7 per cent as of 2013. Tanzanians thus build an increasing purchasing power, along with a growing interest in consumer goods.

About Jumia

Jumia is the largest and safest online marketplace for emerging markets. It connects buyers and sellers to allow them to take advantage of the best deals on an extensive range of products including electronics, books, fashion items, gadgets and even cars. Thanks to a fixed price system, Jumia guarantees that users will always find the lowest prices on the market.

About Africa Internet Group

Jumia is part of Africa Internet Holding (AIG). AIG introduces and accelerates the online shift in Africa – for its people and its culture. AIG has built up multiple web companies including: Jumia, Zando, Jumia, Hellofood, Lamudi, Carmudi, Jovago and Easy Taxi.

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