The American app-based cab service is trying to attract traditional taxi drivers in Africa to penetrate into the the region’s cab industry
Uber is aiming to grow in Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania in 2016 and will concentrate on convincing conventional cab drivers to serve the ride sharing business, stated an official of Uber technologies, Alon Lits. Traffic-packed roads, shortage of credit cards, and high urban crime rates are huge challenges the transporter faces in the Sub-Saharan African region, where it runs its operations in seven cities in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
Uber’s largest problem is the one it is facing from Rio to Rome – the battle with conventional cab drivers who view the American application based cab service provider as one threatening their livelihoods.
In the capital city of Kenya, the fastest expanding market of the Californian company in the sub-Saharan African region, Uber driving partner was attack in February 2016 after the Government of Kenya rejected calls by the taxi association of Kenya to impose a ban on the organization. His car was burned.
The strategy of the organization will make the conventional cab drivers realize that they should work for the US company, while they can keep working independently, but if they don’t have a fare, they can also opt to use Uber smartphone app to offer rides to earn extra money.
Alan said the organization, which runs operations in over 400 cities across the world, will establish its West and East Africa “hubs” in Lagos and Nairobi to act as launch pads for entering in Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania, and would start running its operations in Kenya and Nigeria.
In North America and Europe, accounts of the cab service provider are connected to a credit card of a customer, which eliminates the requirement for cash. In sub-Saharan African region, where just around two-thirds of people are owners of bank accounts, low usage of credit cards has proved to be another impediment to the growth of the transporter.
Mr. Lit said the experiment of the organization in Kenya to allow riders to pay the charged fares with mobile money or cash had fuelled the growth in Nairobi, where around 100,000 people open the ride-hailing application once in a month.
Alan told the overtures of the organization to prospective full-time drivers of Uber in the sub-Saharan African region – where the taxi service was introduced three years ago – would mainly be financial. As with conventional cabs, most of the driving partners of the transporter rent their automobiles, which cuts down their income.
In Nigeria and Kenya, the taxi company seeks to make renting automobiles affordable for its driving partners.