Africa-Press – Sierra-Leone. This week, Google announced a new investment, the third from the company’s $50 million Africa Investment Fund to Kenyan-based e-logistics company Lori Systems.
“At Google, we understand the transformative power digitisation can bring to the African continent. There is so much potential in the region, but it’s only through innovation that this can be fully unlocked,” said Nitin Gajria, Google’s managing director for sub-Saharan Africa.
Essentially what Lori Systems does is lower the cost of goods by eliminating pain points along the cargo journey: seamlessly connecting shippers to transport, providing shippers with solutions to efficiently manage their cargo and transporters, and digitising their entire transport operation, from sourcing transportation to documentation and payments.
Google launched its first product development centre on the continent, in Nairobi, Kenya, the city where Lori Systems first launched.
According to Knight Frank’s Logistics Africa report, 75% of the price of a product in Africa is attributed to logistics (compared to just 6% in the US).
On the continent, logistics operators face a host of problems; from fragmented supply-and-demand markets to inconsistent pricing, paper documentation and little or no access to financing.
Jean-Claude Homawoo, Lori Systems co-founder and CPO, said: “In recent years the global logistics industry has seen much innovation. However global supply chains are in dire need of modernisation, with technologies yet to reach critical scale. On the continent, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to lead to an 81% increase in intra-African trade, providing a $21.9 billion opportunity in untapped trade potential that the 54 ratifying countries are hoping to capitalise on over the next 5 years. Logistics is key to unlocking this opportunity.”