Women entrepreneurs are tackling Africa's logistics problems

qz.com
4 min read
fairly difficult
Jetstream and Lori Systems are two of Africa's leading logistics companies. They are both led by women innovators.
Apapa, the Lagos town that hosts Nigeria's largest and busiest port, is synonymous with gridlock. Roads leading into the port are lined by scores of trucks waiting days or weeks to be allowed into terminals where they load containers for transfer to warehouses.

Most drivers, customs agents, and terminal operators trudging along at Apapa and other African ports are men, but some of the major visionaries tackling the continent's cargo transportation problems are female entrepreneurs. With footprints in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, their companies are eliminating inefficiencies that increase the cost of goods for consumers at the last-mile of delivery.

Making complex supply chains visible

In 2018, Miishe Addy founded Jetstream to enable importers and exporters track shipments to and from Africa.

Jetstream exists because at most African ports, offline activities within the shipping value chain take long periods to complete, sometimes due to poor port infrastructure but also bribery. Addy's idea is that by using supply chain management software that integrates every step—from farm or factory through the port to final destination—freight forwarders and cargo owners can plan better with near real-time data. "We're bringing different stakeholders on a single platform where they can interact and see their full supply chains," Addy says.

It is one thing to have visibility, but…
Alexander Onukwue
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