In March of this year, Afrizar.com launched its African marketplace. Merchants and artisans have been registering to the ecommerce platform since September, bringing an assortment of merchandise (over 200 separate products, so far) that would be found in the traditional African marketplace to customers around the world.
Shoppers seeking African fashions in traditionally woven, Ghanian Kente cloth or the rich emollients of black soap and raw African Shea Butter no longer need a passport, currency exchange or even to travel outside of their own zip code for these goods. And for Africans who have relocated, finding their favorite foods, highly sought-after products available only seasonally, and preferred grocery staples available year-round has never been easier. Thanks to the convenience of the online shopping experience, these items can be delivered within days.
Kwanzaa is a 7-day festival, lasting from December 26th until January 1st. This holiday tradition began in 1966 and sprang from the U.S. Black Power movement of the 60s to commemorate the African heritage of black Americans. This holiday celebration, observed now by many of the African Diaspora, serves as an alternative or complement to other year-end festivities and fosters a greater appreciation for Mother Africa and the beauty of African culture.
It’s no small wonder many more Americans of African descent have been embracing African traditions. More and more are traveling to the continent, discovering African skincare and hair products, as well as methods that have been in use for centuries to maintain the health and vitality of skin rich in melanin. Likewise, a growing number of Africans are also relocating to parts of the world for business purposes: be it advancement, education, or simply for an opportunity to start anew. There is growing interest and affinity for African art, fashion, cultural items, African drums, and dance music worldwide. Especially around the end of the year and gift-giving season, the need for a village marketplace is global.
And while Africans continue to take pride in artistry, many items sold online – Kente print fabrics, fashions, African masks, drums, jewelry – are mass produced, marketed as ‘African’ or ‘Tribal,’ but stamped Made in China, to be sold around the world by people who have no interest in the progress of Africa or its people. This places African artisans and entrepreneurs at a disadvantage.
The Afrizar eCommerce marketplace allows vendors to list their products on one platform. Its mission is to make African products available to the masses while ensuring the items are actually Made in Africa. Afrizar allows buyers all over the world to find the African products and brands they adore. With a click of a button, shoppers can order and be assured that these items are authentic. And the Afrizar online marketplace promptly delivers quality merchandise.
The Story of Afrizar
(In the words of Afrizar founder, O. Jabbi)
I was born in Africa but remained in the United States for most of my adult life, says Afrizar founder, O. Jabbi. Late one evening, I was preparing meals for the weekend, when realized I was missing a key ingredient to add to my Fufu soup, smoked catfish. I couldn’t purchase smoked catfish from just any store or even order it online like other products. Every time I’d purchased the same smoked catfish, my source was a friend of my cousin. Somehow, I’d lost the number and sat scrolling through my phones, searching for it. In frustration, I realized I had to once again, get the seller’s contact information from my cousin. It was then that something occurred to me: we are no longer in the 90s. Africans and those who are loyal to African products deserve better. We should no longer have to call friends and family members, traveling back from our homeland to buy our familiar brands. Yet, we were still bugging Aunty with our list of items to give our Uncle Sam and reminding him to bring those things with him on his return to the States.
My brother always wanted to be an entrepreneur and give back to the community. There are so many black-owned small businesses here in the U.S. that need support. I believe, as black people, we are our own best resource. Afrizar can connect minority small business owners here in the U.S. and allow them to showcase their products to the broader African audience. My dream has been for Afrizar to spread its wings, as a cultural exchange and information sharing platform, widening trade and raising the standard of living in both communities. Together, we can bring this dream to fruition.
Afrizar was founded in loving memory of my brother and his best friend both US citizens who were brutally murdered by a brutal African dictator. Afrizar pledges a percentage of sales proceeds to fight against human rights atrocities in different parts of Africa and help protect those at risk.
What Are the Benefits of Selling on Afrizar
Afrizar is a platform where sellers list their products and services. Afrizar offers a wide range of merchant opportunities and the benefits are endless…
* Selling on Afrizar is less expensive and more efficient than building, maintaining, and running your own website;
* Your profile can easily be expanded, as your inventory expands, unlike a traditional brick and mortar store;
* Afrizar attracts customers from around the world and facilitates the interaction between buyers and sellers;
* Afrizar does most of the marketing and launches advertising campaigns and other initiatives for the platform. This allows sellers to spend more time on what matters most, creating their products and sales fulfillment;
* Sellers increase their reach and gain exposure, as buyers from all over the world visit their platform searching for different African products;
* They are rapidly growing their social media following. Since their company launch in March of 2017 and their website’s launch in late September, they have connected to over 22,000 followers across Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) platforms, and they expect their growing popularity to increase sales;
* Afrizar is not only a marketplace to buy and sell, but also a social platform. They are an online community of merchants, artisans, and service providers, a forum where members of the African Diaspora can interact and share information;
Afrizar focuses on social justice. As part of the Afrizar network, you are helping dispel misconceptions about the continent at large. You are helping other minority business owners thrive. Together we form a stronger network, help change the perception of Africa and move our products into mainstream markets. Best of all, a percentage of profits made by the marketplace go towards helping victims of human rights abuses in Africa.
Afrizar’s mission is to make African products widely available while ensuring the items are actually Made in Africa.
Those who wish to become vendors and emerge on this African marketplace should register through our online portal (www.afrizar.com/business-owner/). For this unique and progressive opportunity, early registration is encouraged.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
For press and media inquiries, including promotional photos and interviews, please contact Afrizar Publicity Services at 800.430.8575 or by email: info@Afrizar.com. To purchase Afrizar products, connect with freelance service providers, or learn more about African products, offered by the Afrizar community, visit .
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