Facebook announced the launch of its Marketplace to 37 countries and territories in sub-Saharan Africa. It said the countries include Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among many others.
Facebook Marketplace is a digital marketplace where users can arrange to buy, sell and trade items with other people in their area. All transactions take place outside the app and are not considered in any legal sense to be Facebook’s responsibility.
Marketplace opens with photos of items that people “near you” have listed for sale. From that point on, the buyer and the seller can work out the details in any way they choose. Facebook does not facilitate the payment or delivery of items in its Marketplace.
It is currently available in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria.
Commenting on the launch, Facebook director of public policy for Africa, Kojo Boakye, said that increasing the availability of Marketplace to 37 more countries and territories in sub-Saharan Africa reinforces their ongoing commitment to help connect communities and support buying and selling through one simple online destination.
“As the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to impact people and businesses, the expansion of Marketplace will provide more people with a convenient destination where they can discover new products, shop for things they want, or find buyers for the things they want to sell,” said Boakye.
Last month, Facebook and international tech company Liquid Technologies announced a partnership to build an extensive long-haul and metro fibre network in the DRC.
The fibre network is expected to improve internet access for more than 30 million people and help meet growing demand for regional connectivity across Central Africa, according to a statement issued during the announcement.
It said Facebook will invest in the fibre build and support network planning. Liquid Technologies will own, build and operate the fibre network and provide wholesale services to mobile network operators and internet service providers.
The network will help create a digital corridor from the Atlantic Ocean through the Congo rainforest, the second largest rainforest after the Amazon, to East Africa, and on to the Indian Ocean. Liquid Technologies has been working on the digital corridor for more than two years, which now reaches Central DRC, the statement read.
This corridor will connect DRC to its neighbouring countries, including Angola, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.