Convenience is a major attribute of the e-commerce experience Jumia creates for our consumers, and timely package delivery is vital to ensuring this. Unfortunately, our delivery agents may have to achieve this while traversing chaotic urban traffic scenarios and unpredictable rural terrain.
Because the African continent has the most road traffic fatalities (26.6 per 100,000 people), our riders risk a lot when delivering packages. Furthermore, individuals, in particular, can find it expensive and tricky to source quality helmets suitable for Africa's hot and humid climate.
As a company that cares deeply for the delivery agent community adding value to our offerings, we understand that the quality of their lives and service is adversely affected if working conditions aren’t optimal. With that in mind, we are committed to stepping up our efforts to improve riders’ safety.
Accessing road safety expertise
Firstly, we needed a set of standards to follow when determining the ideal design in terms of safety, comfort, durability, and other qualities relevant to road safety products. Luckily, the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety (2021-2030) was already underway, with a developed framework to reference.
Consequently, we committed to sourcing helmet models that meet the United Nations Regulation ECE 22.05. Secondly, we had to find manufacturers who could produce such high quality helmets in mass and implement additional design preferences at a reasonable cost.
This is how we partnered with the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). With support from the FIA Foundation, the FIA has been running the Safe and Affordable Helmet Programme since 2020. Under this programme, they’ve tremendously improved access to helmets that meet the highest standards above at a target price of USD20.
And, coupled with their decades-long experience in implementing safety measures during motor racing events, the FIA made an apt partner for our safe helmet mission. Undoubtedly, their support and guidance in design and production choices has helped us offer the most fitting model to our riders.
Our progress so far
Since we approved production of the first consignment of helmets in December 2021, we have distributed free high quality helmets to over 7000 riders across nine countries where we operate. We’ve also conducted additional training and sensitization exercises to emphasize the importance of these helmets and how to use them effectively.
Our team also pursues collaborations with local road traffic authorities, health practitioners, and other experts who offer actionable advice on road safety, first aid, and compliance-related procedures to follow in case of an accident.
The future of our Safe Helmet Programme
Research shows that helmets offer considerable protection and reduce head injuries among motorcyclists by up to 44%. However, we’d also like to take more preemptive measures. So further down the road, we plan on complementing helmets with other safety items like reflective vests to increase visibility.
Our team is also looking into other protective gear such as body armor and gloves, first aid kits, and other tools that would help riders when making deliveries. Ultimately, we hope to improve rider safety more comprehensively.
This means stringent and regular assessment of fleet mechanical conditions, continuously monitoring riders’ composure amidst fluctuating order volumes and other crucial metrics. We believe that safety starts with being in the right state of mind, so we will continuously dialog with riders to address any factors that could hinder the prioritization of safety.
To take this forward we are excited to partner with the United Nations and collaborate with them on the Action for Road Safety project which has a target of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030. This should bring sustainable impact for communities in Africa promoting road safety and saving many lives.
VP, Group Head of Logistics, Jumia
Tanuj has over a decade of experience working in Supply Chain and logistics domain in e-commerce and q-commerce space. He is currently the VP Group Head of Logistics and is responsible for Jumia Food, hypermarket , Quick Commerce and e-commerce business, improving logistics and services for our customers and improving the efficiency of the business.