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Africa's Amazon Is Set for a New York IPO as Online Retail Takes Off

  • Jumia to seek up to $216 million in listing planned this week
  • Customer numbers jumped by 48% last year to about 4 million
A Jumia tricycle in Lagos.

A Jumia tricycle in Lagos.

Photographer: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

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When Christophe Fofana, a 29-year-old taxi driver and student in Ivory Coast, needed a birthday present for his daughter last year, he did something he hadn’t done before. He went shopping online.

“It was a specific toy, an electric car, that I either couldn’t find in stores or was very expensive,” he said in Abidjan, the commercial capital. He found a gift for the big day on Jumia, the online retailer and market place active in 14 African countries.