Two Nairobi-based local search companies have teamed up to launch a new platform in Tanzania designed to solve a key pain point for African consumers. Finding accurate information about local businesses.
According to a study from Africa 118, “85% of mobile customers in a major African city reported difficulty in finding accurate and up to date information on local businesses, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises, owing to the fact that less than 5% of businesses had any online presence.”
To address this gap and to give local SMEs more tools to grow their businesses, Africa 118 and Yellow Pages Kenya have formed a partnership to create YP Tanzania.
The new venture is already underway in offering Tanzanian small businesses print and online directory listings, Google geo-location, website design and development, social media marketing and management, email marketing, among other digital solutions.
Yellow Pages Kenya CEO Pedro Gomes says the two companies spotted a gap between growing consumer Internet adoption and SME digitization.
“We are seeing internet usage growing rapidly due to the proliferation of mobile devices and improving telecommunications infrastructure, yet businesses are not adapting to the change at a commensurate rate,” Gomes said.
“This is the gap that we aim to fill by helping businesses, especially SMEs, get online and connect with a growing marketplace. Essentially, what we are offering businesses is a clear route to growth at a significantly lower cost than the alternative.”
Africa 118’s CEO describes the venture as having an impact-driven mission.
“The impact that we expect to have is more than simply economic. The downstream effects of supercharging Tanzania’s digital economy will result in better livelihoods for communities, increased access to opportunities, and bring us closer to achieving national socio-economic goals. YP Tanzania not only connects businesses but is aims at improving lives,” said Africa 118 Founder & CEO Ezana Raswork.