New, Online Social Buying Site Targets Africa and the African Diaspora

Africa.com, the fastest growing website focusing on all things African, has just announced Africa.comDEALS, its own social coupon website that’s aimed at the African diaspora and those who are interested in learning more about African culture, travel and products.

The first deal will feature heavily discounted airline tickets – from New York to Lagos – on Arik Air.

In addition, during the month of August, Africa.com is offering a special incentive to those who sign up as inaugural Africa.comDEALS members: a chance to win several prizes, including a grand prize of a pair of round-trip tickets from New York to Lagos on Arik Air — or $500 in cash. The winners will be announced in September.

Over the last couple of years, a lot of the tech buzz has been about the successes of online coupon and social buying sites like Living Social, Groupon and Foursquare. (It doesn’t hurt that Groupon boasts of a $20 billion target valuation for its IPO.)

If you put a map of the world over the hundreds of markets these companies are servicing, though, you’ll see that relatively little attention has been focused on the fast growing economies in Africa – 18 of which had GDP growth rates of 5 percent or more last year. Those countries include Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Botswana, Zambia and Angola, among others. Likewise, little attention has been focused on the African diaspora – until now.

Said Africa.com CEO Teresa Clarke, “Africa.com’s mission is to change the way the world sees Africa and to be the online platform for that change. Recognizing the strong ties that Africa.com’s visitors have to the continent and all things African, it was only natural that we would design a group buying site to bring amazing bargains on the things that mean the most to them.”

Africa.comDEALS will provide significant discounts on a variety of products and services of importance to the million or more users who visit Africa.com each month. Categories include discounted air fares to Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and other African destinations; hotels, car rentals, traveler health insurance, international calling cards, cellphones and cellphone services, money transfers, theater/music/sports events, museum memberships, subscriptions, fashion, restaurants, wine, food (coffee, chocolate, etc.), even hair styling.

Here’s how Africa.comDEALS works:
1. You sign up to become a member of the Africa.comDEALS network by clicking on: http://deals.africa.com
2. Each week, you’ll receive a notice about a steeply discounted (usually 50 percent) product or service.
3. If enough people sign up for the deal, you’ll receive a voucher that can be redeemed through the Africa.comDEALS partner.
4. And, you can do good by doing well. Africa.comDEALS is committed to donating a portion of the profits from each deal to an African charity focused on promoting entrepreneurism.

Africa.comDEALS is good for vendors too, many of whom have been grumbling about their experiences with other social buying sites. The new offering opens up access to a growing and increasingly wealthy market niche, the African diaspora. The African Development Bank and the World Bank report that the African diaspora currently includes 30 million people – who sent some $40 billion home to Africa in 2010, making these remittances the continent’s second largest source of foreign inflows.

Vendors who participate in Africa.comDEALS will be able to design their own deal and will enjoy easy and quick distribution of proceeds. And unlike other sites, participating in Africa,comDEALS won’t preclude a business from partnering with another social coupon website. To learn more, e-mail [email protected]

Said Frank Webb, Africa.com’s director of business development, “The African diaspora includes some of the most affluent, best educated people in the world. At Africa.com, we are excited to be bringing this community together through Africa.comDEALS. We’re equally thrilled to be providing a taste of Africa to the ever-growing audience of non-Africans, who are simply fascinated by Africa itself.”

It’s about time!!