Popular American e-commerce company, Amazon, has officially announced, it is looking to recruit qualified persons for seven positions based in Lagos, Nigeria this time around.
Apparently, this development threatened to shatter the internet because the news has long been awaited.
Only in April 2021, there was a viral ad posted on Facebook which claimed the US multinational tech company was recruiting agents across Nigeria. The post included four photos and a Nigerian MTN phone number. It was shared in a public with over 229,000 members and in another group with over 89,000 members.
According to the post: “Amazon agents are urgently needed in each state of the federation. You work from home and get daily earnings from 5,000 naira to 50,000 naira, no qualifications needed.”
Dramatically, hopes were dashed as Sthe Shabangu, the company’s public relations manager for sub-Saharan Africa stepped forward and shoved the ad as scam.
Encouraging people to report fraudulent sources offering jobs on behalf of Amazon, Shabangu then explained that the company actively investigates employment scams that are reported to it and real quick actions meted to curb them.
“We actively investigate reported employment scams, and as a result, dozens of fraudulent recruiting websites have been taken down,” she said.
But this time around, the e-commerce platform is set to launch operations in Nigeria by April 2023.
Reports have it that Amazon has been quietly recruiting salespeople and engineers in Lagos, hinting at an expansion of its streaming and cloud computing businesses in Africa’s largest economy. The company has also hired a major advertising agency to work on its first push for Prime Video subscribers in Nigeria, while also investing in production and licensing deals with local film and television studios.
The tech big wig said in a statement: “We are investing in the region [and t]his is what the advertising campaigns represent.”
The company has made significant investments in Nigeria over the past year, including original production and exclusive license pacts with leading Nigerian filmmakers, including Anthill Studios and Inkblot Productions, producers of the box office hit “The Wedding Party.”
This month Amazon, announced it had hired the Nigerian ad agency stalwart, “Insight Publicis” to spearhead a marketing campaign aimed at attracting subscribers to its platform.
In April, it then advertised three roles for its Nigeria Originals team based in London.
Reports say, Amazon is also looking to expand its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud business in Nigeria. AWS, which has had roots in South Africa since around 2004, is the world’s largest cloud computing platform, and its services are already being used by companies across Africa. In Nigeria, AWS has become an increasingly widely used platform for many startups and large firms, despite not having an in-country data center or office.
Prime Business Africa notes that the tech giant expanded its Prime Video streaming service to Nigeria in 2016, as part of a global rollout, and its Amazon Web Services product has been used by many local businesses for several years now. However, the company does not have a physical presence in the country, or in much of sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa.
Though analysts say that the continent is still at an early stage of digital development, they also noted that the opportunity for big tech firms like Amazon to open up the market is especially promising. “As more Africans get on the internet and organizations continue to improve digitization efforts, the demand for digital services and infrastructure increases,” said Ayobami Omole, an analyst at Tellimer Research.
Africa has become an important growth area for streaming services, with Disney+, Netflix, Amazon, French streaming service Canal+, and South Africa’s Showmax all competing for subscribers. Amazon has not released viewing figures for Prime Video in Africa, but Digital TV Research, an analytics firm, estimates that the company has 600,000 subscribers in Africa already. It also forecasts that Amazon Prime Video will add 1.5 million new subscribers, and Netflix will add 3 million, by 2027.