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Cameroon's home-delivery booms amidst Covid pandemic

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Sunday Alamba/Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Business

Franco wine's workers have to work fast to prepare this order.

Thanks to Bee, a delivery service, this wine company established in Cameroon has been able to keep its Douala clientele happy for the past six months through home deliveries. A livesaver for Manager Francis Wemba.

"I had difficulties since the site was set up, who was going to do the delivery? You know, logistics are very complicated. I was told about Bee. I was told about their price list. I found it very useful and very advantageous for me to deliver my products at low cost with very low shipping costs to the end customer," Wemba says.

Zooming past traffic, a Bee Delivery driver arrives at his destination, minutes after leaving Francis Wemba's wine shop.

Bee Moto Taxis drivers have become extremely useful for customers, who sometimes can't spare the time to go out shopping.

"I placed an order for wine since I was very busy at the office I could not go out shopping and it was delivered in 15 minutes. I am very satisfied with the service," customer Patrice Melalo says.

Bee Moto Taxis established as COVID-19 was starting to sweep around the world in 2019. After a difficult start-up phase, and during the pandemic, the company's activities boomed. Customers were not calling to ask for passenger transport, but to request package deliveries.

Before the pandemic the owner Patrick Timani studied in Germany and became a computer engineer and a resident there. Timani set up the motorcycle taxi part of the company and installed a local manager on one of his trips home

As the pandemic spread to Cameroon, Timani realised he needed to develop the delivery part of his company - now known as Bee Delivery.

Service ordering is done either via a mobile app or through a call centre. A GPS service allows the company to monitor the performance of the delivery drivers.

Less than a year after setting up Bee Delivery, the service has become so successful that Timani decided to leave Germany and return to Cameroon to guide the progress of his company.

He says: "Our vision was to become the hub for personal transportation through motorcycle cabs because we had noticed that there were too many accidents in Cameroon. But with COVID, we understood that people were very afraid to move, people wanted to be driven, the elderly stayed home. We said to ourselves why not use this advantage to emphasize the service of home deliveries on demand."

Patrick Timani plans to see his company grow and become a leader in Cameroon's home delivery services.