WeChat catapult Namibian youth into business


On Friday afternoon, eyes glued to her mobile phone, Ottilia Namutenya virtually sorted orders for clients through WeChat.

WeChat, the Chinese virtual multi-purpose messaging application has aided the growth of the 32 years old Namutenya’s business venture. Namutenya orders items from China to sell at a premium in Namibia.

“WeChat has been instrumental in establishing contacts and partnerships with suppliers along the transnational supply chain both in Namibia and China so that things run smoothly,” she said.

Namutenya is one of the many Namibians embracing the Chinese invented digital inventions to boost business and foster relations.

Takatsu Uugwanga initially joined WeChat in 2018 to communicate with family members living in China. However, she realized later that the application’s features could catapult her into a business.

Today, Uugwanga maximizes on WeChat to order diverse items from China for trade and personal use.

According to her, the application is user friendly and features other tools such as mobile payment and group chats; giving the end-users convenience.

“It is a resourceful application. Without it, I would not run an informal business,” Uugwanga said.

Furthermore, other virtual platforms such as Ali Express and Alibaba has grown into a hub of trade for locals.

The emerging E-commerce development has further attracted young people across all spheres of life.

The use of Chinese digital platforms has also infiltrated rural Namibia.

At a far-flung village in Oshana region in northern Namibia, Maria Ndapandula maximized on the Ali Express and Alibaba websites, which have been key sources for her online business.

“I source visuals such as photos of items and prices which I send to people to draw a clientele. Certainly, the websites also provide real-time translations, friendly instructions, one of the critical features,” Ndapandula said.

The locals also order and sell gadgets, including the mobile phone brands.

Tomas David from coastal town Walvis Bay sells Huawei mobile devices.

“There is exponential growth in terms of the number of people who order Huawei phones with us as compared to other brands,” he said.

As such, David embraced applications such as WeChat to accelerate growth over time.

“That was necessary to get the best suppliers and shipping companies to facilitate the delivery of the products safely. If it were not for the digital devices and innovation from China, I would not have started this lucrative business,” David added.

Jona Musheko, a communication expert, said the world is becoming more digital and it is necessary to embrace these types of innovation and technology.

“My goal is to integrate various component of digital solutions. In all possibilities, I can download WeChat to connect and interact, utilize Ali Express as well as Alibaba to access all that on a Huawei mobile phone,” Ndapandula said. Enditem

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