Launched in April 2016, Alsoug.com, an online classified ad platform, ranks among the five most visited Sudanese websites, and is one of the most downloaded Sudanese apps with over half a million subscribers.
The most basic ideas are often the most successful, a truism which fits well with Alsoug.com, a Sudanese online classified ad platform launched in 2016 by Tarneem Saeed. “The concept is very straightforward: to offer the Sudanese people daily information on the real price of commodities. We collect the data and relay it to them. This information is vital, as it allows consumers to better understand the real value of what they are buying and selling. At Alsoug.com, we collect and analyze the data, then publish it on our blog, so that everyone can be informed and benefit from it. Our website is tailored to the Sudanese people, to help them better cope with the daily cost of living,” she explains.
The idea came from Tarneem Saeed, winner of the “Revelation Tech” award from Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative’s Program 54.
“I believe in the changes that we, the youth of the continent, can bring with the help of new technologies.”
A Law graduate from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Tarneem worked for Allen & Overy in London for four years before joining Saeed, the family business operating in the Sudanese retail sector. Three years ago, she started her own company, Al Soug.
“I am passionate about the consumer market in Africa. I believe in the changes that we, the youth of the continent, can bring about with the help of new technologies and a commitment to quality.”
Her online market, Al Soug, is something of a local sensation. It ranks among the five most visited Sudanese websites, and its application is one of the most subscribed to with more than half a million downloads. Her small business is already running well and employs twenty people working full time.
“I would like to see the Sudanese people use our platform every day, for various reasons, to make their daily lives a little easier.
With no one left behind, for Tarneem has designed her platform to include not only the Sudanese diaspora but also the people of Southern Sudan.
“With the aim, once the conflict has been resolved, of setting up a team in Juba.”
That’s not all. The young woman is also showing pan-African ambitions.
“Once we have won over Sudan, we would like to deploy to other forgotten neighboring countries. We believe that the power of the Internet and of platforms like Alsoug.com is a right that everyone should be able to benefit from, not just the people living in major countries like Nigeria. To achieve this, we must continue to grow.”
In the meantime, Tarneem Saeed, who attended the second annual Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative Forum last September as a winner of Program 54, was presented with the “Tech Revelation” award. “It was truly an honor to receive this award. It means others believe in us, and in the impact technology and the Internet can have on development. On top of the exposure gained at the award ceremony, Tarneem connected with the other 54 program recipients: “The WIA summit was really very special in that sense. It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with women entrepreneurs and leaders from all over Africa, in many different sectors. I learned so much from the other participants. So many of them have overcome so many obstacles to start their own business, their solutions have really inspired me. I felt less lonely, in a way…” She added: “I am convinced that women, not only women entrepreneurs, but female leaders in general, although isolated more often than not, have the capacity to transform this continent if they pool their strengths and are provided support. Which is precisely what the WIA platform offers us.”