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Uber in Africa And Entrepreneurship


With a population of over 1.1 billion people (about 16% of the World’s population), Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent. The transport system in most African countries is plagued with issues like traffic congestion, rickety/faulty vehicles, and unprofessional taxi and bus drivers to name a few. Operating a transport system that works is a driving force for the Transportation Network Company, Uber. By launching a location based app that connects riders to on-demand drivers, Uber is not only providing seamless transportation to the public but creating opportunities for people to be entrepreneurs and create multiple streams of income.



Buoyed by an aggressive growth strategy, Uber is rapidly gaining large footprints in Africa. Not only offering a technological based alternative to archaic ride hailing; Uber is seeking to bolster Africa’s economic growth. Uber is part of the technology revolution that has transformed urban mobility and is gradually eroding the archaic practice of physically hailing a cab in Africa. Uber in AfricaAfricans now have a new way of getting around, which is facilitated by just navigating through the Uber app

Uber’s march across the African continent continues at a quick pace. Uber has had to adjust its strategy in Africa, as it had to do in growing economies like India, Cape TownLagos and Johannesburg by launching cash payment options for passengers in these cities.


Uber’s Impact in Africa

Africa being the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent with a continental GDP that accounts for just 2.4% of global GDP, will no doubt have a relatively high unemployment rate.

Using South Africa as a case study, Uber South Africa which launched in 2013 is a subsidiary of Uber Technologies Inc. Uber has empowered drivers, enforced passenger safety and has improved the transport service of South Africa. This in turn transforms the way users think about their transportation options in South Africa. Uber has already created over 2,000 jobs across the country since launching in late 2013.

Uber’s lead generation software facilitates powerful entrepreneurship opportunities every month with Uber empowering hundreds of entrepreneurs to become small business owners in South Africa. This contributes significantly to the 50,000+ global entrepreneurs who are empowered monthly on the Uber platform. Anthony le Roux, General Manager of Uber Cape Town, says, “Uber is using a variety of corporate relationships to ensure that every opportunity and partnership we have developed is available to our partner-drivers. We want to provide them with as many benefits as we can, so they can grow and succeed in their businesses. These opportunities include better financing options, discounts on vehicle ware items and car washes, to name a few.”

Also, in a bid to drive entrepreneurship in AfricaUber and WesBank; a South African-based vehicle finance provider have announced the signing of a vehicle solutions program worth ZAR200million. The Uber Vehicle Solutions Program give Uber driver-partners who may not qualify for traditional credit the opportunity of a full vehicle maintenance lease, facilitated by WesBank, at special rates.

Uber driver-partners and non-partners can rent approved vehicles from HertzPaceEuropcar and Fleet Data Technologies until they have built the earnings and quality record needed to qualify for the full maintenance lease. “This is an amazing chance for driver-partners to start and grow their own small business in partnership with Uber,” Uber South Africa stated in a press release. This method is obviously another measure to boost entrepreneurship in Africa.


Another example of Uber’s impact in Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem can be found in Nigeria. Uber launched in Nigeria on July 24th 2014, operating in two of the commercial cities, Lagos and Abuja. Uber has improved entrepreneurship in the country by providing the ride-sharing business for the citizens. Under the management of Ebi Atawodi (Uber’s General Manager), Uber has already captured 30% of the Lagos market. Lagos is significant for Uber because it is the most populous city in Africa with a population of about 21 million peopleUber in Africa

Uber showed Nigerians what a real taxi service should look like – clean, fast and polite. If Uber keeps its fares and commission fair, it is likely to dominate the N28 billion taxi market in Lagos.

Uber currently operates in five countries in Africa. It was launched in the capital of Ghana (was operational 11 June 2016) and Tanzania few months ago. Uber also launched its ride-sharing service in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, according to a statement released on Thursday. Kampala now joins the growing list of Uber’s smart transportation hubs in Africa such as Lagos, Abuja, Johannesburg and Mombasa.

It should be interesting to see what the future has in store for Uber in Africa.


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