Juliet Anammah
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Visionaries - August 8, 2022

Juliet Anammah: The Powerful Lady Spearheading the Digital Drive in Jumia Nigeria

When it comes to e-commerce in Africa, one name that has been entrenched in the minds of many African consumers is that of Jumia.

And the name that has been saddled with the steering of the ship and provides leadership and direction for the e-commerce giant this past 7 years is Juliet Annamah.

Juliet joined Jumia in 2015 as its Chief Executive Officer and was in that position till January 2020 when she assumed the role of Group Chief Sustainability Officer and Chairperson till date.

As former CEO and now chairperson of Jumia Nigeria, who also doubles as the chief sustainability officer of the Jumia Group, Annamah has her hands full with providing direction for the e-commerce giant.

Jumia as a brand has pioneered a number of firsts within the e-commerce space. It is Africa’s first e-commerce unicorn and was the first to launch Black Friday (the colloquial term for the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, where stores offer discounts and promos on products) in Africa back in 2014. It has since gone on to expand the scope of its Black Friday offerings to span an entire month given the huge success it recorded in Nigeria.

The brand presently operates in 11 African countries and 23 countries globally, and stands out as the first African e-commerce company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Launched in 2012, the Jumia brand has evolved over the years from being a retailer to a marketplace where buyers and sellers meet, thus providing the virtual infrastructure needed to onboard the informal sector. Juliet has apparently played a huge role in its progress so far.

A consummate professional, Juliet has over 28 years of professional experience which spans sectors such as consulting, consumer goods, sales and marketing, and e-commerce.

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She started her career at Sanofi Aventis, a French pharmaceutical company, in 1991 and held various roles in the sales, marketing, and product management departments, after which she moved on to join Accenture in 1999, where she rose to become Partner/Managing Director of the company’s manufacturing and consumer goods practice, overseeing all of Africa.

She has a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, an MBA in Finance from ESUT, Nigeria, and is also an alumnus of the Wharton Advanced Management Program.

She is a Fellow at High Impact Leadership for a Better Society, of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative and Yale University.

She has held and continues to hold positions on several boards, in an independent and non-executive capacity. She currently serves as an EXCO at large at CGAP a not-for-profit agency of the IFC/World Bank, and also currently serves on the Boards of Flour Mills of Nigeria and Imperial Logistics South Africa.

Managing a dynamic internet-based marketplace as Jumia does not come easy, especially with the challenge of bringing more sellers on board in a market where a large portion of sellers are based in the informal sector without access to formal credit, but Juliet is well up to the task even as she provides direction for the e-commerce giant driven by a vision beyond just profit-making.

According to her, “In the end, reducing inequality is so critical and is a big part of how we create value. And how we create sustainable improvement in quality of lives on the continent is by asking ourselves: What more can we do?”

Looking ahead, the challenge for the Jumia brand, she says, isn’t really so much the expected competition from other brands like Konga, but the informal market.

“The real competition is the informal market. We are every day working to bring more and more sellers to the platform, and bring more brands to the platform, excite more consumers,” she says in an interview on Grit & Growth, a podcast produced by Stanford Seed, an institute at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Juliet certainly has her work cut out for her and is poised to take the e-commerce brand even to greater heights in the years ahead.

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